Monday, November 30, 2015

Ringside #1 Review



Ringside #1 from Image Comics -

    Daniel Knossos is an ex-Marine...And one of the best pro-wrestlers of all time. He was the top of the heap as the legendary Minotaur; now, he's a washed-up, jaded, aging ex-pro-wrestler who earns his bread by training young talent in Japan. He had a falling out with someone with a lot of power, and it effectively ended his career for good. It seems like Dan has settled with his fate, and has moved past the pain of his faded star; however, when he receives a call from an old friend in desperate need, he leaves Tokyo and returns to California to help his friend out of a life-or-death jam. When Dan is brutally beaten by five heavies seeking to keep him away from his friend, he decides to push back, Semper Fi, Do Or Die. They beat him down. They threatened his friends' lives. They've pissed him off.

   Dan's bringing the fight to them, no-holds-barred...But is one tough-as-nails ex-Marine/ex-pro-wrestler enough to dig his friend out of the hole he's gotten himself into, or will they both end up six feet under?

    Joe Keatinge writes this hard-edge, melancholy story about a hard-luck hero that is holding on to the only things he's got: his pride and his loyalty to his friends. Daniel Knossos is the strong, silent type - he's a wise, world-weary and straight-to-the-point type of guy. But underneath it all, he's got a soft side for the underdog; he's a bit of a gentle-giant with a big heart for those who mean a lot to him. I instantly liked Dan - I pitied him, and I admired his ability to deal with life as it is, not as it was or how he wants it to be. He has a tight circle of friends who care a lot for him, which made it easy to see that Dan was a good guy for all his gruff, curt and sulky ways. It seems that his friends just might be the only vulnerability he has - and if someone comes for them, it's on like Donkey Kong. The story chugs along at a slow quiet pace, fleshing out characters and populating Dan's world with an endearing, quirky supporting cast. Like Dan, Nick Barber's art is moody, straight-to-the point, no frills, spills or chills. Barber's art is purely a vehicle to tell Keatinge's story, which makes it basic, but brilliant. The story and art meld together perfectly as one to bring this heavy, burdened story to life in the pages of this comic book.
 
  I'm really not sure what Ringside is just yet, but whatever it is supposed to be, there's no doubt in my mind that it will be a great read. I'm too curious and enthralled by this story to not pick up issue #2. Now that's just good writing.

RATING: 8.5 out 10. Ringside piledrives it's way onto my monthly pull list. 1, 2, 3 - it's a wrap.


Thanks for reading.

-TEX

Sunday, November 29, 2015

TEX's Back-Issue Quest 2.0 Episode 1



Howdy folks!

    It TEX, back again! Check it, respect it, let's begin!

    Here's my secret origin: Several years ago after leaving the U.S. Army, I sought a way, a method, if you will, to make my overactive brain, calm the hell down. Finally, one of those nice Army psychiatrists asked me to think back to a time when I was totally happy, when I had not a care in the world. The first thought in my mind was COMICS, which was very weird considering I had given away my collection more than ten years prior to that conversation, and hadn't picked up a comic, let alone, thought about buying them in several years. She suggested that maybe I should go back  to collecting comics, so that is just what I did. 

   Comics collecting for me is more than a hobby, it's a absolutely fun way of life. I am attracted to high stress, challenging jobs, and naturally, I have a "Type A" personality (or as Mrs. TEX used to say, "a-hole"). Collecting comics has given me a therapeutic way to not be " Type A,": My comics are organized in a way that I purely want, I collect exactly what I want, and bow to no specific "needs" in collecting, I compete with no one, I read every comic I collect, and I follow no one's rules, methods, or standards but my own. 

   I buy what I like, read what I like, I collect what I want. Rock on. Collecting comics is a rare piece of total freedom in my life - I have exorcised the demons, son...This house is clear. :) My "comics therapy" has carried over into several areas of my life - I went from a life of no-chill to a life of chill-a-dociousness. I'm happier, and so is Mrs. TEX and the family.

    So, what do I collect? That's what you're probably wondering, right?

    Thanks for asking! 

   I collect comics from every age, and I am an avid reader of modern comics, hence the reviews that you see on the site; however, my true passion is 1st appearances and key issues. I love them, so my collection is probably over 90% pure 1sts and keys. Not much drek in my boxes, brothers, nor full runs (I'm not a stickler), unless I really, REALLY dig the series. The bulk of my collection is made up of Golden Age, Silver Age, and Bronze Age 1sts and keys, with some great Modern (and Post-Modern?) 1sts and keys (and some full runs) - because I enjoy supporting the industry that I love...And, honestly, aren't there just some great comics being written right now?

   I also have lots of original, and published comic artwork, from such greats as Gil Kane and Steve Ditko, along with a collection of TPBs, HCs, action figures, statues and pulps. Oh...and I ADORE signed comics. I have a SWEET collection of comics signed by some of the greats in the industry like Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Jim Shooter and even Stan "The Man"Lee.

   Groovy, right?

   In 2008, I found a place where collectors meet, chat, trade or sell and have a rocking good time. I met many great people over there who have affected my life in purely positive ways, and have expanded my knowledge of comics, and comic collecting. There, I started a few threads, but the most popular by far was TEX's Back-Issue Quest, so by popular demand (well, not really - it was only Brownchikano, LOL), let's bring sexy back! 

  Let's start up with a heavy hitter you've already seen. In light of the coming Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice film, I think these are timely to show:



It's my copy of The Brave and the Bold #28, featuring the 1st app of the Justice League of America! Printed in 1960, this is the first major Silver-Age superhero team! That's right - before the Marvel Age, before the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and the Avengers, there was the dawn of justice! This comic features the 1st app of Starro the Conqueror and that crazy teenage superhero super-fan, Snapper Carr!!

Fun Fact: This is not only the first appearance of the Justice League of America, but it is also the very 1st time that Aquaman was ever featured on a cover.




The Brave and the Bold #30. This is the final comic before the JLA got their own title. This comic also features the first appearances of Professor Ivo, and his dangerous android, Amazo.





And finally for today, The Justice League of America #1, the first appearance of the super-alien menace, Despero. 

    This is just a small first step, on a back-issue odyssey that www will take together. I hope that you enjoy it, and thrill to my humble collection as we  pass the years together.

   And remember, read what you like, collect what you feel, and have fun. 


  Until next time...PARTY ON!

-TEX

Saturday, November 28, 2015

George R.R. Martin's "Skin Trade" Optioned By Cinemax



   Well, it's official. A Game of Thrones author, George R.R. Martin, has done it again. Cinemax has optioned Martin's gory werewolf crime-noir, "Skin Trade," to be produced as a premium TV series. Word has it, Once Upon A Time's Kalinda Vazquez has signed on to both write and executive produce the series for Cinemax.

    "Skin Trade" centers on a Willie Flambeaux, a a short, scrawny collections agent who happens to be more than meets the eye - he's also a werewolf. Along with Randi Wade, his friend and a lady gumshoe, they try to solve the mystery involving werewolves being murdered for their coats. This is not your run-of-the-mill werewolf story, in fact, Martin turned werewolf stories on their ears with this one. It's acknowledged as one of the best pieces of werewolf fiction ever written and it won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella in 1989. In 2013, Avatar Press adapted the novella into a four issue comic book series written by George R.R. Martin and Daniel Abraham, with artwork by Mike Wolfer (no pun intended). It was probably the comic book series that led to the re-emergence of the popularity of the property and the interest and subsequent optioning by Cinemax.

   As a result, certain issues of Avatar's adaptation have climbed steeply in value, while others that have not had such a big price bump are steadily selling well with prices that reflect a heightened demand. Copies signed by George R.R. Martin himself are in highest demand, of course. Night Visions 5, the book in which "Skin Trade" made it's first print appearance has also climbed in value, with signed copies in highest demand.

   Happily, ol' TEX is already in on the fun, and I figured I'd take a bit of time to display a little of my own George R.R. Martin memorabilia. Take a look:



This is my personal copy of Night Visions 5, an anthology containing stories by Stephen King, Dan Simmons and it is the first time George R.R. Martin's "Skin Trade" was ever printed. This is a first printing signed by Martin and editor, Doug Winters. And...




This is my copy of Skin Trade #1 from Avatar Press. It is a rare Iconic Edition, limited to only 350 copies. It is signed by George R.R. Martin - CGC Signature Series graded 9.8.


   I'm really looking forward to the Skin Trade TV series from Cinemax, and I hope you all are too. Expect a gory series, that like the novella, is not your pedestrian werewolf story. Why not grab Night Visions 5, or Avatar Press' adaptation to get familiar with the story before it hits the small screen? 

   You won't be sorry.

    ENJOY!!


-TEX

Spider-Man 2099 (vol 3) #1 and #2 Review





Spider-Man 2099 (vol 3), #1 and #2 from Marvel Comics -

    Miguel O'Hara is the Spider-Man of the future...Well, he was. His future has been destroyed. Somewhere between the present and 2099, something has gone wrong, resulting in the distortion of his timeline, a distortion that could possibly lead to the destruction of his reality. Trapped in the present, Miguel feverishly works to find and stop the genesis of his timeline's distortion. In the meanwhile, he's living the life of a jet-setter in present day New York - he's in love with the beautiful Tempest Monroe, and he's the head of Research and Development for the New York office of Parker Industries. Life is good, and he's left his life as Spider-Man in his future-past. Unfortunately, trouble always finds a those of the spider-line...When a horrible death shocks Miguel's world, he dons his suit once more. But he's not out for justice, he's out for blood.

   Peter David pens this tale of a once and future Spider-Man, trapped in the past, trapped by his future. There are a few interesting first appearances in issues #1 and #2 which might prove to add some fun and intrigue to the current MU. Even Captain America 2099 (Roberta Mendez) is there, suffering from a split personality that hides Miguel's identity from her, as well as her own alter-ego. There's a lot of character development in the first issue with a nice gut-punch at the end, and issue #2 is a bit more tense as Miguel gears for a vengeance-driven manhunt. Will Sliney's art is clean and competent, if a bit stiff - in all honesty, it's a bit of a disappointment compared with Francesco Mattina's dazzling covers.

   What happened to the days when artists rocked the covers AND the interiors?

   Anyway, while these books were mildly enjoyable at times, Miguel suffers from what I call the "Iron Man Complex" - it's Marvel's desire to make every character with half a brain resemble Iron Man in some way, shape or form. Whether it's ostentatiousness, or an armored suit, or total self-absorption, I see Tony Stark everywhere in the MU, redefining the superhero as the wise-cracking, self-centered, cavalier-science/tech-head-type. Miguel is no different, which made me not only dislike him, but distrust him. He treats Peter, his assistants, his A.I., anyone in his life who is just trying to look out for him (except for his girlfriend), like total crap and pawns to help him get what he wants. I wasn't the least bit surprised when Miguel started talking about murdering criminals...Just like Tony Stark, he has all the makings of an excellent bad guy, driven by a desire to "make the world safe."

   I don't mean to be negative, but I have been a fan of Miguel O'Hara since he first made his debut in the pages of Spider-Man 2099 #1 in 1992, and this guy is not Miguel O'Hara. I don't dig this Spidey at all. This is a surprisingly disappointing showing from Peter David.

Rating: 6 out of 10 - Spider-Man 2099 vol 3 swings right off of my pull list.

-TEX

Friday, November 27, 2015

The New Avengers (Vol 4) #1 and #2 Review



New Avengers (Vol 4) #1 and #2 from Marvel Comics -

    Roberto DaCosta, multi-billionaire, also know to the world as the mutant superhero, Sunspot, has taken over A.I.M., once known as the criminal organization, Advanced Idea Mechanics, and transformed it into a force for good. Now, Avengers Idea Mechanics is a growing, powerful multinational organization with one purpose: protect planet Earth. A.I.M. has the most brilliant scientists, and engineers, and the most advanced armament, vehicles, and tech in the world today; however, at it's core are the New Avengers - Hulkling, Wiccan, White Tiger, Power Man, Squirrel Girl and Songbird - a newly formed team armed with their powers and all the tech, muscle, support and resources A.I.M. and DaCosta can put behind them - and they're going to need it. The Maker, an alternate, terrifying version of Reed Richards gone wrong, has returned. Using his considerable genius, he has found a way to download the consciousness of the dead and return them to Earth in order to glean information about the very nature of the universe itself. Earth is being overrun by the undead, the Life-Minus, and these novice New Avengers are all that are standing between us and the Maker's Life-Minus legions. Are they up to the task? They better be...S.H.I.E.L.D. is watching and the Earth hangs in the balance.

  Al Ewing writes this angsty, sometimes loony little Avengers tale, full of action, high-tech hijinks, relationship issues and witty banter. While I enjoyed this story, one would expect more depth from the first issues of a new title launch. The books have a forced, yet flashy teenage-y feel, and a sense of humor that some will find attractive, while others, myself included, will find sophomoric. The New Avengers is flamboyant, fast-paced fun for a new generation of Avengers readers. I'm not very confident it will attract too many veteran comics readers of more "mature" (ahem!) ages. Bringing in Hawkeye is a great idea - this team needs a older, wiser leader that can be like a Captain America for them, to help them congeal as a team...But knowing Hawkeye, he might not be the best choice for the job. Or maybe he'll change and become exactly what they need. Who knows? The story is fun, and Gerardo Sandoval's art paired with Dono Almara's beautiful, highly saturated colors, makes this book very nice to look at. The Maker looks like he's going to be serious trouble in the 616. Keep an eye on that one. 

 These New Avengers just aren't my cup of tea - and they probably won't connect with many from their late 20s upward. Maybe they weren't supposed to. And that's totally cool - but I won't be staying along for the ride.

RATING: 6 out of 10. 

Thanks for reading.

-TEX

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Godzilla in Hell #5 (IDW)




Well this is sad...it's over (i think).
Hard to talk about a book with hardly no words,
Godzilla gets to the last frozen level of hell. In the distance he see's the way out, A stairway with an unimaginably huge guardian at the top. He goes to climb but the rock falters under the he's immense weight.
He comes across spires that house these hellish bats that hhhissss. After he disturbs them & they warm around the legend himself. He goes to use his Atomic Breath but it does not work.
The hell bats devour Godzilla till only bones are left. But then something amazing happens, The creatures are drawn back the bones & they reanimate him. A new vigor is achieved, Godzilla staring up at the huge guardian powers up beyond anything he was ever capable of before & releases his powerful Atomic breath..."It is better to conquer yourself...Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you...not by angels or demons...heaven or hell" -Buddha.

It was one for the fans, The true king of monsters. Great work IDW, Well done!
I will be getting the TPB

Rating 10/10
Batman: Europa #1 (DC)




Bats is fighting Killer Croc (which is cool) & slowly takes him down, So much so that bats notices that something is wrong with him.
After Alfred urgently calls him back to the cave, Upon he finds that the computer has been hacked with a message "COLOSSUS is in your system, You have 1 week to live".
Bats who takes a hunch from Alfred tracks the Joker to Berlin in which they both find out they the disease, Seemingly a young lady is there only hope as to what to do next.

The artwork (as you all probably know now) was by Jim Lee, It's perfect. The story is a little bland, Although it is a 4 part mini series.
But the price is a bit heavy, I hate to say it but this one might be better as a TPB.

Rating 7/10
Tokyo Ghost #3 (Image)



A month has passed since Debbie & Ted have entered the Tokyo region. All is green lush & peaceful.
They are greeted by a beautiful lady who dresses up in Bushido (who incidentally has the power to heal).
Tokyo has a anti-tech field around it but she has some tech of her own that does not seem to be affected by it. Ted is slowly purged of his tech & even starts training as a samurai warrior although he sucks at it.
A beautiful book with a beautiful ending...But...something always lurks in the dark, always.

Rating 9/10

Saturday, November 21, 2015

StraitJacket #1 Review



Straitjacket #1 from Amigo Comics -


    At age twelve, Alexandra Wagner committed one of the most grizzly crimes imaginable: she cut her twin brother to pieces in a bizarre, gory ritual in her parents' home while they were out for the evening. She has passed the last fifteen years in the care of psychiatric hospitals. Her reasoning: there are things lurking in the darkness in our world, things most people don't see, things that must be destroyed. She killed her brother to send his soul on the OTHERSIDE so that he could aid her in the fight in that horrible realm - she believes that he guards her and communicates with her constantly. Her doctors have tried everything, but she remains ever-defiant, ever-confident that her delusions are the true, and that something is coming for us all. Now, Dr. Thomas Hayes, a wunderkind psychiatrist, is ready to take a shot at helping Alexandra overcome her fantasies of invaders from a darker realm. The chemistry between them is instantly great; even Alex's dead brother loves Dr. Hayes. Bolstered by their newfound bond, Dr. Hayes has high hopes that he can rid Alexandra of her delusions...But Alexandra has her own plans. Who will help whom to rid the other of their delusions of what reality truly is?

   El Torres writes a stellar, gripping first issue to a series that looks to be the beginnings of a modern comics masterpiece of horror. Alexandra Wagner is scarily captivating - she seems to be a monster, a cold, calculating, heartless fratricidal lunatic; however, there are times when she is quite charming, which makes her all the more terrifying. This book explores insanity and asks the reader to accept the possibility that some types of insanity could actually be caused by a clearer view of reality, a reality from which "normal people" hide in comfortable obliviousness. Is Alexandra a hero defending our world from real monsters, or is she really just bat-sh#t crazy?

  This story is mesmerizing, and paired with Guillermo Sanna's pencils, this book becomes an absolute home run. Sanna's artwork is brilliant; he masterfully pencils expressive faces, gory scenes, moody, dark settings, and hideous monsters panel after panel. Straitjacket is done all in black and white with only the frantic use of dark red for gore - genius. Sanna put on a clinic in creating atmosphere in a comic book. I have to have more.

 If Amigo Comics keeps this up, they will become the new face of horror in the comics industry. This book has "movie adaptation" written all over it.

RATING: 10 out of 10.

EDIT: I just found out that Straitjacket #1 has a very low print run, so much so that it has streaked upwards in value. Here are some recent eBay sales, FYI.


-TEX

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Valiant Goes To The Movies!





Well the word is out.


     Valiant is headed to the big screen with some of its characters in a really big way. Several sources have verified that Valiant is starting it's Marvel-like charge with films based on Bloodshot and Harbinger, slated to hit the theaters in 2017. If you're familiar with the Valiant Universe, you'll know why. Valiant is chock-full of great characters, like Rai, Magnus (Robot Fighter), Turok, and many, many more.

    In response to this news, interest in vintage, key-issue Valiant comics has rekindled, driving Valiant values up much more than I can recall in recent memory. If you're looking to get in on the action, The Valiant Database has a very complete list of Valiant first appearances and key issues - just what the discerning comics connoisseur needs to suit his or her  collecting needs.

     To celebrate this happy news, I figured I'd bring out my collection, and proudly put it on display for any fellow Valiant Vigilantes who might be so inclined to have a look-see, and enjoy these Valiant sounds that TEX is laying down.

     You dig? Let's go:



Bloodshot #7. This featured the first appearance of Colin King as Ninjak. King, however, first appeared in the previous issue, Bloodshot #6.



Quantum and Woody #1. This features the first appearances of Eric Henderson and Woodrow Van Chelton, two adoptive brothers - total opposites - bound together by their powers...And their need to clang their metal wristbands together every twenty-four hours. If they fail to do so, it's curtains for Quantum and Woody.



Archer & Armstrong #1. This features the first appearance Obadiah Archer, an unbeatable martial artist returned from the dead, and Aram Anni-Padda (Armstrong), a super-strong, ancient immortal. The best of friends, and crazy adventurers. 

This copy is signed by Jim Shooter, a gift from one of my awesome friends, Robbie. 






Eternal Warrior #4 - yep, two copies. This features the first appearance of Bloodshot; that's right, the one hitting the big screen in 2017. Just call me Two-Copy Tex. :)




Solar, Man of the Atom #3, This comic features the first appearance of Toyo Harada, the ultimate bad guy in the Valiant Universe. Harada first sought to protect makind by conquering it, but in his quest he fell down the slippery slope that many often do when seeking to create a utopia: he has lost his own humanity. 




Solar, Man of the Atom #10, 1st and 2nd printings, featuring the first appearance of Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior. Two-Copy TEX strikes again. Some have a problem telling the printings of this comic apart. Here you can see that it's fairly easy - the 2nd printing has a Roman numeral II on the cover. 

So don't let a seller catch you in a slumber, make sure you check for the freakin' number. 

Like that? I wrote it all by myself!




Harbinger #1, CGC graded 9.4. There is a plethora of important first appearances in this book, including that of Peter Stanchek, an Omega-powered psionic - the only man on Earth that can hope to rival the power of Toyo Harada, and Zephyr AKA Faith Herbert. 

Now, these are some Valiant treasures, that aren't Valiant comics. You see, Valiant used some characters from a now-defunct publisher by the name of Gold Key Comics to launch their universe in the 1990s. Here are my copies of the true first appearances of:




Doctor Solar Man of the Atom #1. This is the first appearance of Dr. Raymond Solar, AKA Solar, a physicist who absorbed immense amounts of radiation while trying to stop a nuclear meltdown, which ended up giving him the power to convert his body into any kind of nuclear energy. The Valiant version is named Phil Seleski, who gained the power to manipulate all forms of energy and matter while trying to shut down a breached fusion reactor. 



Magnus, Robot Fighter #1, PGX graded 4.0. This comic features the first appearance of Magnus, the robot-smashing martial arts master from the future. Drawn gorgeously by the late, great Russ Manning, this unsung gem is pretty dang awesome. 



Turok Son of Stone #1, also known as Four Color Comics #596, PGX graded 4.5. This features the first appearance of Turok, originally a pre-Columbian Native American trapped in a hidden valley populated by dinosaurs. Valiant revamped him considerably, making him into an 18th Century Native American trapped in the Lost Lands where dinosaurs, monsters, and aliens dwell.

    So that's all I have for today. Now, go and get you some Valiant back issues or TPBs, have some fun, and catch up on all the action before the movies come to a theater near you in 2017!!

    I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed posting!

    Happy trails,

-TEX


Monday, November 16, 2015

The Goddamned (before the flood) #1 (Image)


Oh! Boy this is not for kids (even has the rarely seen "C" word), Biblically violent.
A man wakes up out of a pool of poop! after a boy is relieving himself (peeing) on his head. The boy can't believe not only he's alive but has no scars...Later the Man with no scars heads to a small village with barbarians eating raw flash from a animal & eradicates them all with considerable ferocity.
He was one of the first two born of Adam & was also the first the commit murder...

Tex! You know who i'm talking about, Do you have his first appearance in House of Mystery #175?

The artwork is brilliant by R.M.Guera, We have all heard this story before but this has a slightly different direction. Would make a great movie!

Rating 8/10

Carnage #1 (Marvel)

We have Eddie Brock & John Jonah Jameson III is he still Man-Wolf Hmm! been hired to capture Carnage (No easy feat!) by Barry Gleason who owns Grey Ridge Investments.
Some cage with a sonic pulse is used, After using a past survivor from a murder spree of Cletus Kasady before he was Carnage as bait on a news special that he sees while in a cafe, Goes crazy & kills them all.
He falls for the trap & well...

Nice art work, Reads like an old Punisher book. I didn't mind it at all, A more gritty approach from Marvel. I'll be getting the next issue.

Rating 7.5/10

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paper Girls #1 Review


Paper Girls #1 from Image Comics -

   In the sleepy town of Stony Stream Ohio, Erin is a tween living life in the late 80s - but there's something different about Erin: she has horrible nightmares, and...She's a paper-girl. After one doozy of a nightmare, Erin goes out on her early morning route, only to be accosted by some juvenile delinquents with a desire for mayhem; but, Erin is in luck. She's saved by some real hardcases - K.J., Tiffany and Mac, the original paper-girl of Stony Stream. Teamed together by fate, these four head out to finish their routes and keep each other safe in the pre-dawn, Ohio darkness. When Tiffany is attacked by some masked assailants spouting a weird, unearthly language, the girls come together to track down the bad guys, and give them a beat-down that they'll never forget. Tracking their prey to a stench-soaked abandoned house, they find an inexplicable machine, and they begin to realize that they just might have stumbled upon an even more inexplicable mystery - one that might unravel them, before they unravel it.

   Brian K. Vaughn makes a great showing in this premiere issue of Paper Girls. It's a Goonies/Monster Squad mash up, taking us back to a time when science didn't explain everything, a time when kids were safe to do paper routes, a time when kids talked tough and had the guts to back it up when they had to, a time when kids tried to handle their own problems, instead of looking to adults to fix the world for them. Mac, Erin, K.J. and Tiffany are instantly likable - they look out for one another, they organize, and they are courageous. These girls are definitely no pushovers. Vaughn brings the band together in true 80s style, and then unites them under Mac's no-nonsense leadership. They soon set out on a journey that drops them squarely in the middle of a captivating mystery - one that I do not want to miss. Cliff Chiang's art is straight-forward: clean lines and pretty with no frills. Chiang deftly handles the task of bringing Vaughn's story to life in the panels of this book. Sure, it might be a bit derivative, but that will not make it any less fun with B.K.V. penning the story.

Paper Girls looks to be the beginning  of a mystery that will take anyone who grew up in the 80s back to those golden days of yore. I so dig that jazz.

RATING: 9 out of 10.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Original Art Showcase Episode 1 - Ethan Van Sciver's Green Lantern

Ethan Van Sciver is the architect of the look of the modern Green Lantern.


     I remember picking up a copy of issue #1 of Green Lantern: Rebirth back in 2004 and being totally floored by the gorgeous rendering of Hal Jordan on the cover. I had to have the book. The story was brilliant. It was the story of Hal Jordan's redemption after he had become Parallax, a  nearly unstoppable, fear-based entity that took control of Jordan, and drove him mad...A madness which ended in the obliteration of Jordan's beloved Coast City. While there is no doubt that Geoff Johns, the architect of the DCU of the early 2000s leading into Flashpoint and the New 52, penned an amazing, heart-rending story of sacrifice and redemption, it cannot be denied that Van Sciver's artwork was a huge part of the attraction for the story, elevating Johns' storyline to make it one of the best arcs of the early 2000s. I instantly became a huge fan of Van Sciver's and Johns' work, especially when it had anything to do with Green Lantern.

    Van Sciver's Green Lanterns are trimmed in light, surrounded by a glowing aura that both protects them from enemies and the vacuum of space. On their chests, the Green Lantern Corps symbol blazes before them in the pure green light of will, signaling authority to all who see - a blinding space badge worn by the most powerful police force in the universe.

   A few years ago, I had the pleasure of being able to buy a signed original piece of art by Ethan Van Sciver depicting my favorite character pencilled by him. I am happy to present to you...



It's Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, drawn, inked, colored and signed by Ethan Van Sciver!!! This is absolutely one of my favorite pieces of original artwork that I own. I hope you like it.

And check out Green Lantern: Rebirth at your local comic book store. Tell 'em TEX sent you. :)

Thanks for visiting.

**If you enjoy these articles, please follow me on Google Plus, or Facebook (Tex's Comics News and Reviews) for more fun articles that will boost your comic knowledge. Also, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends on Google Plus, Facebook or any site you like! You can also follow this blog directly. Thank you.

-TEX

Rowan's Ruin #1 Review



Rowan's Ruin #1 from Boom! Studios -

    Katie is a red-blooded American girl, just looking for a little adventure, a little get-a-way from  her life in the Sunshine State. She hops online to find some house-swapping action, and is soon delighted when she is contacted by Emily, an Englishwoman living in Rowans Rise, a centuries-old property near the town of Stratford in London. A deal is struck, and Katie is on her way to Merry Olde, and Emily, to the Colonies. At first, Katie loves her new digs, soaking in the culture, nature, and the ancient feel that the home and property possess. But soon, a growing sense of unease begins to rule her nights, as she can't shake the feeling that she is not alone...And that she is definitely not safe. Ghostly figures dart in the shadows, peeping-tom apparitions watch her while she showers...Will Rowans Rise be Katie's fall?

   Mike Carey writes this atmospheric, up-to-date horror story that feels like it just jumped right off of a movie screen into the pages of this fun little comic book. Mike's gift for female dialogue is reminiscent of that of Joss Whedon's; Katie comes alive because we all probably know or have met a girl just like her. She seems to be a nice girl, and almost immediately we care about what happens to Katie, and we begin to share her uneasiness as the house begins its attack on her senses. Mike Perkins' pencils prove adept at conveying emotion, beauty and monstrous things in this book. It's just very well done. If you like tales of people who set out looking for adventure and find infinitely more than they are looking for, Rowans Ruin is definitely the story for you.

RATING: 8 out of 10. Rowans Ruin is absolutely worth a read.


Thanks for visiting.


-TEX

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Art Ops #1 (Vertigo/DC)



Wow, This is a brilliant idea (one you'd expect from Vertigo).
We have a secret organisation that has the tech to bring out characters from a picture, Yes! They come to life & walk / talk like us. Of course the Mona Lisa is the first we see come to life, But that's because the art ops are protecting her from unknown entity.
Later the Art Ops themselves go missing in a blinding flash whilst at a party, The Body (he can't be seen buy humans but artworks can see him) is asked to track down Mona Lisa & protect her. He finds her working in a local supermarket packing a grocery bag.
They go to the son of Art Ops leader & ask him for help, He thinks he knows all to well what the Art Ops is (has an arm that's made of streaming colours that's trying to take over his body). But by the looks of it he'll will be in for a shock.
Artwork by Micheal Allred (I, Zombie) & brillant writing from Shaun Simon. A must for fans of the quirky reads, I liked it.

Rating 7.5/10
Adventure Time 2015 Spoooktaclar #1 (Kaboom!)



I'm a huge fan of the cartoon, Twisted & warped but fun! This book was no different, Loved it.
Tells us a little more about Marceline's past. She has (had) a pet dog named Schwabl, They are looking for food & also for her vampire father, Instead come across little fluffy but totally evil minions!
Marceline takes care of them no problem, In the process encounters a small family that is hiding from the evil that "mostly comes out at night, mostly" (nice Aliens reference that's used in the book).
She doesn't find her father but battles another odd powerful vampire, After the dust settles she looks at Schwabl & says "hey maybe there's some food over here!
Fantastic read & artwork, Lots of fun!

Rating 9/10.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Killing Joke

There are some comics that are the stuff of legend.

     Not because of their scarcity, or their monetary value, but simply because they changed the game in the world of comics. 


     Most consider The Killing Joke among the greatest Batman stories ever written, and although author, Alan Moore, one of the most brilliant, and saltiest comics writers who has ever lived, has made clear his disdain for his creation, there is no denying that it is a masterwork. Situated after Jason Todd's death during the events of the landmark "Death In the Family" storyline, Killing Joke, deepened the oppositional bond shared by Batman and the Joker, enlarging their battle, making it mirror the never-ending struggle between the universal forces of good and evil. Moore also delves deeper into the Joker's origin story, first revealed by Bill Finger, Lew Sayre Schwartz and Win Mortimer in "The Man Behind the Red Hood," a story first presented in Detective Comics #168 in 1951. Instead of the hardened criminal he is shown to be in "The Man Behind the Red Hood," Moore paints a picture of a good but desperate comedian, who is only trying to take care his family. When he falls in with the mob, he is forced to commit a robbery that would alter the course of his life (and end those of countless others in Gotham) forever. 


    Sympathy for the devil - Alan Moore-style.


    In the end, Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) would be paralyzed, Batman would be mentally scarred, and the DCU's course would shift to accommodate this astounding one-shot as total canon. 



    With the upcoming announcement that Warner Bros. has signed off on an R-Rated animated film of Killing Joke, this classic has started to garner much well-deserved buzz. Now might be a great time to snag one, if you're so inclined, but be careful. There were several printings of the comic produced. For me, the first printing's always my best choice. Here's a great site that gives you the scoop on distinguishing the printings one from another: How To Tell If It's A First Printing Of Killing Joke.


    For your viewing pleasure, I'd like to show off my little Killing Joke collection. I hope you enjoy it.




The Killing Joke, first printing from 1988, CGC graded 9.4. 


   Brian Bolland did an absolutely mind-blowing job on the cover and interiors. As a Bolland fan, I can tell you that it is truly some of the most brilliant work of his career.






From Kotobukiya comes The Killing Joke Joker ArtFX Statue. It is a masterfully crafted statue based on Brian Bolland's iconic cover. It stands 11 inches tall (1/6th scale) on a special display base that includes the broken crate of dynamite. I'm happy to own it. Here's a wonderful video from Pixel Dan showcasing the features of this amazing statue:


That's all for today. Thanks for visiting.

ENJOY!!

-TEX

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sam Wilson: Captain America #1 Review



Sam Wilson: Captain America #1 from Marvel Comics - 

    Sam Wilson is out in the cold. Having taken a good look at the country he loves so dearly, he has decided that he can no longer stand idly by, and be a silent, non-partisan symbol for a bygone idea of America anymore. His sense of morality, and his intimate familiarity with the struggle for justice and equality have pushed him to make a speech that has changed everything for him. His S.H.I.E.L.D. clearance has been revoked, his funding is nonexistent, and some of the very Americans he fights to protect, don't accept him as Captain America at all. Sam continues to fight by starting a hotline, making him accessible to the American People with the aim of serving them, not just the American government. However, his first case may put him in direct conflict with S.H.I.E.L.D., the U.S. government and Steve Rogers himself. 


     Nick Spencer writes this powerful, character-driven story that shows a man coming out of the shadow of the greatest soldier that the world has ever known, to find his own identity, connect with America actual, and be the Captain America the country needs, not the Captain America the government wants. It parallels the journey that Steve Rogers took himself in the late 70s and early 80s. Spencer knows this - he even brings back Dennis Dunphy (Demolition Man / D-Man), a relic of those times, to aid Wilson on his journey as he aided Steve on his. This is Captain America going grass-roots, getting back to the people, fighting for the little guy once again, and following his heart to do what he thinks is morally and politically correct. This book is pretty stellar. Wilson, though at odds with everything Steve Rogers represents right now, is living the ideals that Captain America represents, embodied by this immortal quote from the mouth of Steve Rogers himself:



Not surprisingly, there has been a bit of backlash about this book in the real world already; Comic Book Resources (CBR) has it covered here: Fox Slams Sam Wilson: Captain America #1.

Sam Wilson IS Captain America, like it or not...And I have a feeling he'll be his own man while striving to be the people's Captain America.

RATING: 9.5 out of 10. Sam Wilson: Captain America soars...Right onto my pull list.



-TEX

Survivor's Club #1 and Twilight Children #1


Survivor's Club #1 from the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics -

     A wave of unexplained, occult events claimed the lives of several people in 1987. Chenzira Molenko is one of them, but she is also a college professor and a genius hacker that has been looking for answers to the unexplained supernatural experiences she has as a child. Rummaging on the Dark Web, she finds a list of people... A list with her name as well. After some research she finds that only herself and five others remain alive on the list - A Survivor's Club. She tries to gather them all in order to suss out the reason that they are all still breathing. But is she gathering the Survivor's Club for the final slaughter?

   Lauren BeukesDale Halvorsen write this supernatural whodunit, with Ryan Kelly doing a competent job on the pencils. The story has potential, but seems very uninspired, disjointed and meandering. Halfway into the book, there wasn't one character that I cared about, or found any connection with - it was a lot of exposition with nothing to anchor me to the story at all. 

RATING: 5 out of 10. Survivor's Club won't survive on my pull list.



AND





Twilight Children #1 from the Vertigo Imprint of DC Comics - 

   In a small town somewhere in Latin America, there have been some strange goings on. Huge, glowing orbs have been appearing on the beach for sometime - it's an unexplained phenomena that the townspeople have just come to accept - but the government wants to run tests, to know more. When three curious, and mischievous children come in contact with an orb, their attempt to touch it ends in a dazzling flash of light that leaves them blind...And leaves the the town with a beautiful, white-haired visitor that may turn the town, and the entire world upside down.     

   There is a saying in Spanish: "pueblo pequeño, infierno grande." Small town, big hell. It communicates the thousand issues that can overwhelm people living together in such close proximity. Gilbert Hernandez puts this idea to work in Twilight Children - from an illicit affair, to rumors of how the town drunk killed his family, to the weird acceptance of the strange, glowing orbs, Hernandez masterfully shows the insanity that can pass for normal in small towns, specifically, small Latin American towns. This interesting story showcases pretty brilliant realismo mágico (magical realism), and seems like it could have been taken from the mind of in Gabriel García Márquez. Darwyn Cooke's art is retro-gorgeous, as usual, and fits perfectly with the rural, left-behind-the-times feel of this story. While the story does meander a bit in the exposition, there's no denying that if Hernandez drives this one correctly, it could become an exquisite experience. If high-octane is your thing, this book will bore you to tears, but if you like the slow burn, and the blending of reality with a touch of magic/sci-fi (not sure which yet) and mystery, this book just might be for you.

RATING: 8.5 out 10.


-TEX




Saturday, November 7, 2015

Preacher Coming To AMC

Preacher is RED HOT.

     Written by Garth Ennis from 1995 to 2000, Preacher tells the story of Jesse Custer, a small-town preacher with a BIG crisis of faith. When he becomes possessed by Genesis, the illicit progeny of an angel and a demon, Custer finds that he might just be one of the most powerful beings in the universe...But this attracts the attention of some very, very bad beings that would either like to kill or control him. Armed with his new powers and his friends, Tulip O'Hare, Jesse's sharpshooting girlfriend, and Cassidy, a drug addicted, alcoholic vampire, Jesse sets off on a journey to find the god of their reality to make him pay for his crimes against all of creation.

   Even though I have my own personal beliefs, Preacher doesn't offend me. It is a well-written master-work of comics. This fictional revenge-story is among the best ever written in comics, fully fleshed out with three dimensional characters who can surprise you with both their heroism and their ability to be right bastards. Add those unparalleled Glenn Fabry covers and Steve Dillon's amazing interiors and you've got one of the best supernatural, non-superhero comic books to ever be put to print - and it has been adapted into a surefire hit by AMC:




It looks great!! I'm very excited for this series.

   As a side-effect of Preacher's growing popularity, and the anticipation of the show, the comic book series has enjoyed a new surge of back-issue sales. Early issues and key issues have sky-rocketed in value. Recently CGC graded copies of issue #1 have sold for over $1,000 USD on eBay. Click here to see for yourself: Preacher Recent Sales

   Given a heads up from my good buddy, and guest writer, Gilgandra75, I thought I'd pass the heads up to my readers, AND...show off my private Preacher collection!

   Check it out:


Three copies of Preacher #1, all high grade, with a copy that is CGC-graded 9.6 - I misremembered - thought it was graded 9.4. Pleasant surprise! These feature the first appearances of Jesse Custer, Tulip O'Hare, Cassidy and a cameo by the Saint of Killers.


and


Preacher #2, the first full appearance of The Saint of Killers.

and


Preacher #3

and



Absolute Vertigo. I just found out that I actually have 2 of these. Sweet.


Heck, I even bought the trade paperback of volume 1 to reread over, and over again.



So, yeah. Kind of a fan. Try it and you will be too.

Thank you, Gil!!

ENJOY!!

-TEX

Friday, November 6, 2015

Batman & Robin Eternal #1


Batman & Robin Eternal #1 from DC Comics -


    Batman (Bruce Wayne) is gone. Dick Grayson, now super-spy,  Agent 37, of the world's premier espionage organization, Spyral, is back in Gotham on a dangerous case. But the hunter soon becomes the hunted, and things go far more sideways than he could ever imagine - he finds himself up against an enemy who can use anyone against him, even the ones he loves most. There is no Batman to save him. Spyral has been compromised, and Dick, bruised and shot, is holed up in the Batcave.  Armed only with the data from a flash drive given him by Cassandra Cain, Dick views a recorded message from Batman...A message that could reveal a Batman that no one knew, a Batman with secrets deeper and darker than Dick ever could have imagined.

   Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV are back on the case with this high-octane, rip-roaring first outing of Batman Eternal. From page one, it's all go-time. The story is equally fun and comfortable Batman Family fare, while simultaneously dark, edgy and a bit unfamiliar. This new enemy is someone unlike anyone Dick has ever faced, a pervasive enemy, able to attack from anywhere, through anyone...And this book has a twist-ending that will leave your mouth agape. Tony Daniel's pencils are absolutely perfect for this book - clean, fresh, and awesome. Snyder and Tynion are to the DCU what Jonathan Hickman is to the Marvel Universe: the new architects.

Rating: 9 out of 10. This is going to be fun.


-TEX

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tokyo Ghost #2 (Image)



If your not on this band wagon yet then let shame be sprinkled over your clouded eyes!
Fast becoming the title of the year (IMHO), What artwork & scope. So much to look at. Those who read #1 would have seen the Nintendo Power Glove with the Atari 2600 joystick attached to it Uber-cool. 
Debbie & Ted are asked to go & take all they can find...Secure resources, From Tokyo & bring back to a dying, Absolutely corrupt Los Angeles. They secretly don't care about the job & want stay there instead. But the Japanese samurai warriors might have something to say about that.
If you like/know Anime, Hard Boiled, Transmetropolitan, Akira & even has a little of Grendel: War Child. Then this is for you. Get on that band wagon now, It's filling fast.

Not for kids
Great book, A must to own & read.

Rating 10/10