Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Hello faithful friends!!

   What's happening? I hope all is well with you guys and gals. Me? I feel great. Tired, but pretty awesome. I love my family, I love my friends, I love my students, and I love my job...Like my grandma used to say, "Life ain't all glory, but it's all glorious." 

   My grandma was a peach of a lady, and smart to boot.

  But you sure enough didn't come here today for ol' TEX's musings on life, love and his beloved granny - you came for a hit of that comic book knowledge that you can't get in college. Well, you're in luck, Chuck. I'll be your pusha man. Let's go to work, son:

  KA-BAM!!!! Let's celebrate Luke Cage's solo small-screen debut in Netflix's series, "Marvel's Luke Cage!"

    Feast your comics-lovin' eyes on this superhero surprise! It's my two copies of "Luke Cage, Hero For Hire" #1, published by Marvel Comics back in 1972! It features the first appearance of Luke Cage, and his soon-to-be foes, The Rivals: Diamondback (not Steve Rogers' Diamondback), Shades and Comanche.

   Can ya tell that one copy is REALLY well-read? LOL.

   In this issue, we witness the origin of the man who would soon become Luke Cage, hero for hire. His name is Carl Lucas, a tough, street-smart young man born and raised on the mean streets of Harlem, NYC during the turmoil of the 1950s and 1960s. Coming up hard, in a hard town for hard men, Lucas ends up in a gang called the Rivals along with his best friend Willis Stryker, AKA Diamondback, and other young toughs, Shades and Comanche. After a while, Lucas decides to go straight, and takes a job get his life on track. Unfortunately, he's pulled back into The Rivals' violent world when he saves Diamondback from a mob hit. Diamondback repays Lucas by framing him for cocaine, all because he thinks his girlfriend, Reva Connors, broke up with him because of Lucas, which wasn't at all true. Carl Lucas eventually ends up in Seagate Prison in Georgia, where he encounters a racist, sadist guard, Albert "Billy Bob" Rackham. Lucas is recruited for an experiment by Dr. Noah Burstein, who leaves Lucas unattended during the process, giving Rackham time to fiddle with the dials in the hope of killing Lucas.

    But things didn't go as planned.

   Because of Rackham's interference, Lucas is accidentally imbued with super-strength, stamina, and nearly unbreakable skin. He promptly uses his powers to escape back to NYC, where he adopts a new identity as Luke Cage, and begins a career of do-gooding...For a price.

    Luke Cage, created by Archie Goodwin, John Romita, Sr., and George Tuska, is one of Marvel's most interesting superheroes, in my opinion. He is the epitome of the Bronze Age of Comics - he is a hungry hero in a world less shiny than where the other heroes dwell, in a darker place where good guys don't triumph so easily over the bad guys, a place where the lines are blurred, and there is sometimes heartbreaking collateral damage. I like to call Cage a "hard-time hero," the guy who's not afraid to get dirty to make sure that good people are protected, the guy that carries the weight of the lines he's crossed and the lives he hasn't been able to save, the guy that understands that people can get turned around and confused on the mean city streets, where either you're predator or prey. "Luke Cage, Hero For Hire" was a gritty comics experience, dealing with complex social issues like racism and economic corruption all wrapped in a sweet superhero shell. Cage himself was a product of the times, an attempt to get in on the popular, but controversial, Blaxploitation film craze of the 1970s, where black anti-heroes were either pigeonholed into a hurtful stereotype, or empowered in stories where they got to "stick it to the man," depending on whom you talk to, and your own point of view.

   Eventually, Cage would team up with Danny Rand, AKA Iron Fist, and as a successful crime-fighting duo, they would take on the bad guys for several years ("Power-Man and Iron Fist" ran from 1978-1986). This was a marriage made-in-heaven, so to speak, with two heroes representing two once popular, film genres: blaxploitation and martial arts. In time, Cage would strike out on his own, and have many adventures, but the highlight of his life was meeting Jessica Jones, marrying her and the birth of their daughter, Danielle:

 Here is my copy of "Alias" #1, featuring the first appearance of Jessica Jones, and the first time that Jones and Cage met in Cage's bar.

    Luke Cage has had a long, difficult, but amazing career as a superhero. From prison, to the streets of Harlem, to Avengers Tower, Cage has seen and done it all. He has been part of the Defenders, he's been an Avenger, the leader of the Avengers, and, more recently, the head of the Mighty Avengers. Lately, Cage has re-teamed with Iron Fist giving us the return of the Heroes For Hire!

   As a huge fan of Luke Cage, I'm really excited that Mike Colter will be reprising the role of Luke Cage in the upcoming "Marvel's Luke Cage" Netflix series! On to the fun facts!!

FUN FACT #1 - Dr. Doom once hired Luke Cage to destroy some rogue Doombots. Cage did the job, but Doom skipped out on his $200 payment. Cage borrowed the Fantastic Four's plane, and tracked Doom to Latveria where Cage proceeded to put boot to butt, until Doom laid that cool $200 in his hand.

FUN FACT #2 - Night Nurse is the only medical professional that knows how to treat Luke Cage, even with the problem of his unbreakable skin.

FUN FACT #3 - Nicholas Cage, the Oscar-winning actor, is a big Luke Cage fan. He changed his name, Nicolas Coppola, to Nicolas Cage, taking the name of one of his favorite super-heroes.

FUN FACT #4- Superstars, Tyreese Gibson, of "Fast and Furious" fame, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Terry Crews have all expressed a desire to bring Luke Cage to life on the big screen. I vote for Crews.

FUN FACT #5 - Cage was romantically linked to Dr. Claire Temple, the character to whom Rosario Dawson gave life in "Marvel's Daredevil" and "Marvel's Jessica Jones."

Strangely, Dr. Claire Temple is now Nurse Claire Temple. What's up with THAT?

FUN FACT #6 - Luke Cage is touted as the first black super-hero to have his own title. This is arguable - in 1970, a black comics creator named Larry Fuller published Ebon, a comic about a black superhero. So, Luke Cage is the first MAINSTREAM black superhero to have his own title. You might be able to find a copy of Ebon, but they are SCARCE and even SCARCER in high grade. Took me years to find a pristine copy.

FUN FACT #7 - Ebon and Luke Cage might have been the first black superheroes to have their own titles, but the first black hero to have his own title was a Dell western hero by the name of Lobo. And, before you ask -  yes, I have a pristine copy of his first appearance in Lobo #1 from 1965. Ain't I a stinka?

NOT-SO-FUN FACT #1 None of the early black or black African comic book heroes (The Falcon, Luke Cage, Black Panther, Deathlok, etc) were created by black creators.

FUN FACT #8 - Legendary comics creator, Dwayne McDuffie, (R.I.P.) poked fun at Luke Cage in Milestone's "Icon" #13 with an absurd character called Buck Wild, Mercenary Man. As a black comics creator, Buck Wild was McDuffie's commentary on the stereotypical black superhero types.

   Well, that's all for today folks. Thanks for taking the time to read this long post - I couldn't help myself. I adore Luke Cage. Remember, "Marvel's Luke Cage" hits Netflix on the 30th of September!! Don't forget to tune in. I sure won't forget!

   To get your engine a-revvin', I leave you with an exciting clip from the upcoming series:

WOW!!! I CAN'T WAIT!! Later pardners!!

(PS - If you enjoy these articles, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends! Thank you.)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Britannia (Valiant)

I don't wish to exchange to many thoughts on this book...As it's a little unclear at this point.
Basically a roman solider is sent to Etrusca (Italy) to rescue a vestal virgin from some evil cult. The legionnaires are successful in the retrieval of the lady.
Later the head of the Vestal Virgins asks Nero to send the same solider to the feared lands of Britain. As there are talks of monsters & demons.

The artwork is good, The story...Is odd! It was a difficult read, I'm big into history inc. The Romans & this was a shadow of there greatness.
Nero looked like Alfred E. Neuman from Mad magazine. The roman solider was caught up in some spells while reading a codex, He then tracks down a fat naked dude (he was entertaining a mistress) cause his misses wanted to know where he was & Nero kills a dude & lastly in Britain, we see a moving rotten pile of flesh with a hundred eyes eating people & well...........

Look, It was boring. Sorry! (but not bad)
I'm sure it will get better. Best way to describe this book is that it was written with the help of Mike Mignola...Only that he was in the next room.

Rating: 6/10

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Eclipse (Image/Top Cow)

Yet another sweet book...Great cover & inside artwork by Giovanni Timpano & story by Zack Kaplan. I believe this is a mini series.

The sun had a massive solar flare that has all but wiped the humans on the earth, The Sun is still incredibly hot, So they all live under ground (under the cities) & venture out at night. The first page alone tells us exactly what the reader needs to know.

Again...Someone is using the Sun as a murder weapon & the persons in question are brutally burned to death (half cooked & melted all over the pavement). There should be no-one outside as one needs state of the art ice suits to survive the harsh atmosphere, But someone is seen...alive & without a suit.

This reminded me of that series by Black Bull called Just a Pilgrim But also had aspects of Transmetropolitan & the vampire movie Day-breakers.
This would make one hell of a movie, Drama aplenty!!

I really liked this, Not only can i not wait for the next issue...Top Cow, More please.



Hey there comics fans!!

    And welcome back to another episodic adventure in TEX'S BACK-ISSUE QUEST, where I get to share my collection of back-issue comics with you, as well as some cool comicbook knowledge that you can't get in college. Today on TBIQ, the first appearance of...


    Feast your eyes on my copy of Detective Comics #311, printed by DC Comics in January of 1963!! Detective Comics #311 features the first appearance of Zook, the Martian Manhunter's long-forgotten sidekick from another dimension, and this comic also features the first appearance of CAT-MAN!!

   In Detective Comics #311, Thomas "Tom" Blake, a wealthy, bored Gotham socialite is inspired by Catwoman, and his own pet black panther, to become a super-criminal, dressed in a cat-inspired costume, using cat-inspired themes and gimmicks in his crimes. In his first appearance here, Cat-Man goes to head-to-head with Batman, Robin, and Batwoman! Cat-Man's criminal career became somewhat of a running joke in the criminal community, as he never really made it into the A-List of Batman's Rogues Gallery. Later, he even tried teaming up with Catwoman, but their relationship was short-lived because of Cat-Man's misogynistic ways. Eventually, Cat-Man gave up the criminal life and became a bit of lazy bum, but after being humiliated time and again by Green Arrow, and after a botched attempt to kill himself, Cat-Man retreated to the wilds of Africa to retrain, refocus and rejuvenate himself. He began living with a pride of wild lions and emerged years later better, more intelligent, and more dangerous than ever before.

   Cat-Man's idyllic life in the wild with his lion-family was interrupted when the Secret Society of Super-Villains (SSoSV) tried to recruit him. He refused, and in retaliation, Cat-Man's lion-family was murdered. Cat-Man vowed vengeance and ended up joining The Secret-Six with the intent of wiping the SSoSV off of the face of the Earth. With the Secret Six, Cat-Man eventually took a more heroic turn. On to the FUN FACTS!!

FUN FACT 1: Cat-Man's first Cat-costume was made of a magical material that helped him survive the several deaths he seemed to meet while taking on the Dynamic Duo throughout the years.

FUN FACT 2: Originally, it was thought that the SSoSV was behind the deaths of Cat-Man's lion-family, but it was revealed later that Mockingbird, the hidden head of The Secret Six, had ordered the deaths of Cat-Man's lion-family at the hands of Deadshot in order to manipulate Cat-Man into joining The Secret Six to wage war on the SSoSV.

FUN FACT 3: Deadshot eventually apologized for murdering Cat-Man's lion-family. Cat-Man accepted, and they slowly developed a friendship between them.

FUN FACT 4: Cat-Man is not the man he used to be, and has really prospered under the writing of Gail Simone in "Villains United" and "Secret Six." His genius-level intellect, his deadly martial arts abilities, his Batman-like weaponry, and his animal-like tracking abilities put him among one of the most formidable mercenaries in the DCU.

FUN FACT 5: TEX loves obscure DC properties like The Suicide Squad and Secret Six, and has been collecting them since long before it was popular. It's funny how both groups started as human adventure teams which later morphed into teams of super-powered bad guys doing good things. 

FUN FACT 6: The first Cat-Man didn't belong to DC Comics. Publisher, Holyoke, debuted the first Catman in Crash Comics Adventures #4 in 1940. Afterwards, he would gain enough popularity to carry his own series, and even get a female sidekick called Kitten. 

FUN FACT 7: That CGC-Graded 8.0 copy of Detective Comics #311 is a recent addition to my collection and I scored one HECK of a deal on it! Doesn't it bring a smile to your face?

Well, that's it for today. Join me next time on TEX'S BACK-ISSUE QUEST, where I'll provide you more comicbook knowledge that you can't get in college!!

(PS - If you enjoy these articles, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends! Thank you.)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hadrian's Wall (Image)

Wow this book blew me 5 meters across the floor, Stood up & shook it off!
It has a high end sci-fi impression to it, A more realistic feel to what our future may well be (think Cowboy Bebop). 

Written by Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel, Artwork by Rod Reis. Story is taken straight from the cold war where America & Russia nuke each other & many decades later they come together, Later they find peace & further advance technology to make humankind better. Hundreds of years go by & focus on space exploration. Now a new cold war brews...& it (of course) starts with a murder.

Our leading character Simon is awoken in the early morning by a phone call from his ex-misses Annabelle. who lives on the space ship "Hadrian's Wall". Her new husband is suspectedly killed while doing a EVA (extravehicular activity). Simon is a detective & a good one at that & when Annabelle finds out he is on board to investigate she is none to pleased...Simon is alarmed & wants to know who threw out his pain killing medicine, Since no-one should know about it.

Hmm...This is good, fantastic read actually. Best i've read in a while.

Rating: 10/10

On the mature side & a read that's on any sci-fi nuts list, Plus the ship is most awesome (you only see it once) The first thing that came to my mind was the Japanese "Yamato" from "Starblazers" anime...very cool indeed.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Animosity #1 Review

"Animosity" #1 from AfterShock -

    One day, the world was spinning just as it always was. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the flowers were in full bloom...And then sh-t got REAL. The animals were our pets, our food, our inferiors, things for us to care for or to kill. And then, one day, they woke up. Their intellects bloomed in seconds, giving them the power to speak, to reason, to hate, and to take vengeance on the humans who had for so long oppressed them - bloody vengeance with claws that slash, teeth that bite, and minds that can both hunt and reason. But not all of the animals hate us. There are some that will lay down their lives to protect us, loyal and faithful until the end. Even with the help of friendly animals, mankind is greatly outnumbered and outclassed. The animals are mad as hell and they aren't going to take it anymore - the revolution has begun. Hello humans, welcome to the bottom of the food-chain. 

   In the same vein as James Patterson's "Zoo," recently turned into a TV show, and movies like "Day of the Animals" and "Long Weekend" comes a gripping new series from writer/creator, Marguerite Bennett, and artist, Rafael De Latorre. "Animosity" is a pretty wild ride from the second page, starting with a hilarious rat attack, that sets the stage for some animal awakenings inside the book that border on the absurd, kicking off a great tone for the series that is equal parts irreverent, violent, and darkly humorous. Where Bennett does her best work is with a dog named Sandor and his best friend, a little girl named Jesse. I felt the tender bond that they share from their first appearances on the page, and it was no surprise that Sandor would give everything he has to protect Jesse, the girl  he loves more than anything in the world. Sandor quickly emerges as the hero of the story, and boy! Sandor is my kind of dog - super-loyal, super-courageous, and smart as a whip! "Animosity" is a little bit of "A Boy and His Dog" and a bit of "Zoo," and it's got lots of heart, action and a whopping dose of black humor, all of which makes for an excellent read that took me from being on the edge of my seat, to bursting out laughing, to experiencing the tender, touching moments that gave me ALL of the feels. Rafael Da Latorre lays down simple, but elegant, pencils in big panels that give "Animosity" a bold, cinematic feel. I REALLY dig this book - I was not expecting that.

RATING: 10 out of 10. I wouldn't be surprised if "Animosity" found its way to the big or small screen. I'd surely love to see it in either place.

CAVEAT: From the looks of this book, it would appear to be safe for children. I would not say so. I would rate it for teenagers at the very least.

(PS - If you enjoy these articles, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends! Thank you.)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Kill Or Be Killed #1 Review

Kill Or Be Killed #1 from Image Comics -

     Dylan was a milquetoast emotional wreck. The first time he'd tried to kill himself, he overdosed on pills, but he only ended up hospitalized and tossed out of college. However, the second time he tried it, things went from bad to worse, opening a door to darkness in Dylan's life that he could never have imagined possible. Dylan had never been strong, never been a fighter. Life always just happened to him, passing day by day in a haze of grad-school coursework as he watched the girl he loves waste herself on his roommate. All this prompted Dylan's second suicide attempt - an attempt that he walked away from with his heart full of gratitude; mid-sucididal act, Dylan realized that as much as his life sucked, he still wanted to live, to try and make something of himself. He thought that surviving his surefire suicide meant that he was free, that he had gained a new lease on life. But he was wrong, so very, very wrong. When the devil himself visits Dylan demanding payment for letting him live, Dylan is horrified to find that his actions will cost him an unimaginable price. Every month Dylan must snuff out the life of one bad person...Or the devil will come for him. Dylan has no choice, no option, and no way out - it's kill or be killed.

   "Kill Or Be Killed" is another Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips collaboration. These two have worked together on several occasions, and the result is usually something akin to magic. While "Kill Or Be Killed" isn't quite magic, it does have that signature Brubaker street-level grit to it - it's Charles Bronson's "Death Wish" headed up by an emo protagonist with a possible supernatural twist. I say possible supernatural twist, because honestly, I am still not sure that Dylan hasn't gone bat-crap nuts. Whatever the case, when we first meet Dylan, he's already a few years into his killing spree, and the kid's has developed a knack for whacking bad guys. Brubaker then rewinds time, and gives us a full comic of exposition which explains Dylan's journey into darkness, and his necessary transformation from a timid, suicidal emo to the king of the freakin' jungle. No doubt, Brubaker writes a compelling protagonist, he really makes you feel for Dylan (what you feel probably depends on your general belief system). The sudden supernatural turn felt way out of place, totally from left field - it kind of skewered the story in a weird, Donny-Darko-type of way. Has Dylan had a psychotic break, or is he really being stalked by the devil? Since the story is told mostly through Dylan's own words and memories in the captions and panels, the obvious question is this: Is Dylan a trustworthy narrator? It's impossible to really say right now, but it is all very fascinating. Sean Phillips, as usual, is in tip-top form, perfectly communicating Bubaker's view of a dark, corrupt world onto the page with gorgeous pencils and expert use of light and shadow. If this weren't enough, movie critic, Devin Faraci, wraps up the first issue by giving us a very interesting analysis on Bronson's "Death Wish" in a short essay in the back of the issue. Not a bad showing for the first issue.

RATING: 8 out of 10. While this book hasn't swept me away like other Brubaker/Phillips collabos, this book has just enough of that signature Brubaker grit and tight writing style to bring me back to see just what the heck is going to happen in issue #2.

(PS - If you enjoy these articles, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends! Thank you.)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Evil Empire Vol 1, 2 and 3 Review

"Evil Empire" Vols 1, 2 and 3 from BOOM! Studios (collecting the 12-issue mini-series) - 

     America. Land of the free. Home of the depraved. In the future, the United States has fallen into a violent, hedonistic government, a government that supports self-expression like never before, a government that puts personal freedoms above all, a government that encourages people to express their every impulse, their every desire...Especially the darkest, most vile ones. When a beloved conservative senator, who is almost surely on his way to being the next President of the United States, commits a wanton act of violence, he sets America ablaze with his rhetoric that eschews false morality, and restraint, and gains a massive following of people who subscribe to his doctrine of ultimate self-expression and the absence of all political correctness. It looks like Democratic Nominee, Sam Duggins, is America's only hope for sanity...Or so it seems. Reese, a hardcore, underground rapper known for her politically charged lyrics, falls in love with Duggins - and no one is more surprised than her. She prepares to support him as all the pieces fall into place for his ascent to the presidency...But what she doesn't know is that Duggins is harboring a dark, dark secret that will turn their love to the most ardent hatred, and cast the United States into the fires of total, and complete hedonism. Welcome to the Evil Empire. Let freedom ring.

    Created and written by Max Bemis, "Evil Empire" is a sweeping tale that chronicles the fall of America, and its transformation into the much talked about dystopia that we all fear, and hope never materializes. Bemis creates amazing, three-dimensional characters to carry his story: Reese, the angry liberal protagonist who ends up fighting for what some might say is some semblance of conservative values; Kenneth Laramy, the conservative champion who commits a depraved, heinous act that sets the country on an insane path to hedonism and moral corruption; and Sam Duggins, the liberal champion whose hidden past, secret appetites and monstrous agenda ring in the age of the Evil Empire. No one is what they seem, nor do they always behave as the reader thinks they are supposed. Bemis is working with some complex themes here, but his apparent mistrust of politics and politicians on both sides of the American political machine is the clearly evident, overarching theme. Is self-rule the actual answer for mankind, or should we be left to our own devices in the hope that harmony will eventually spring from absolute, individual freedom? I guess your point of view would depend on whether you have faith that mankind possesses an intrinsic goodness or not. Bemis 
masterfully paints a picture of his point of view in "Evil Empire," a work which I would say is a modern masterpiece of comics. Bemis manages to relate the grand story of the fall of a nation, while not neglecting the individual human stories that unfold while everything is circling the drain - unlikely villains and heroes, if you could classify them so simply, pop up in places one would never expect, all with compelling, and sometimes insane, motivations. "Evil Empire" is a haunting, gripping, complex page-turner, buttressed by the dynamic, distinctive work of the legion of artists who are tied to this project, from Andrea Mutti, to Joe Eisma, to Victor Santos and others. 

RATING: 10 out of 10. Journey into the fall of America with Max Bemis. You'll be glad you did. It's my favorite kind of book - the kind that stalks you, and haunts you after you've closed the final cover. 

(PS - If you enjoy these articles, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends! Thank you.)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook" #1 Review

"Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook" #1 from Titan Comics -

     It is 1874 in London, and someone has just destroyed the British Museum, obliterating thousands of years of artwork and proof of human achievement, as well as ending many innocent lives - all with a tiny, unassuming piece of technology. But at Cambridge University, one ne'er-do-well, is carrying on business as usual. Mycroft Holmes is easily the most brilliant student in Cambridge's history, and he'd be well beloved if he weren't so purely a scoundrel. Aloof, confident, tough, and wildly intelligent, Holmes is content to pass his days as a student, avoiding the callihng of real life, constantly at odds with his professors, and always in trouble with the Disciplinary Committee. His only advocate, one Professor Hirsch, a brilliant man in his own right, seeks to help Mycroft hone his mind and guide him toward something useful. But Professor Hirsch is more than he seems. When Mycroft is kidnapped by men with advanced technology after being caught in bed with one of his professors' wives, it looks like it's curtains for our favorite rogue; however, what it turns out to be is the beginning of an adventure far above anything Mycroft could ever have imagined, a mission to save Queen and Country...One tailor-made for an intelligent, resourceful scoundrel. 

   Sherlock's big brother gets the comicbook treatment by none other than basketball legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, six-time NBA champ, and Raymond Obstfeld! Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld do a pretty stellar job of taking us back to England at the latter part of the 19th century, the height of the Victorian Age. Abdul-Jabbar's and Obstfeld's Mycroft Holmes is a deliciously clever rogue - from the the way he talks, to the way he sits, to the way he effortlessly makes a fool out of everyone about him - Holmes is just the guy you love to hate, and that you hate to love. This makes him a huge amount of fun on the page. This book is almost entirely exposition, so we get to watch Mycroft work his magic, and even have a little brotherly battle of wits with Sherlock. We really get a sense of who Mycroft is, how he sees his world, and how he relates to it, including his not-yet-famous little brother. The start of the adventure is on the fringes of the story; you get a taste at the beginning, and a nice gut-punch entrance into it at the end for our protagonist. Joshua Cassara's art is pretty dynamic here, really taking us back in time to Victorian-Age England, with flashes of VERY cool advanced tech that is sure to make your jaw drop. "Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook" is a fast-paced, naughty romp with a wildly entertaining scoundrel - this book is PURE enjoyment. Definitely a great look, and a strong first outing for this series. I can't wait for more!!

  RATING: 8.5 out of 10! 

(PS - If you enjoy these articles, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends! Thank you.)

Friday, September 9, 2016

"The Black Monday Murders" #1 Review

"The Black Monday Murders" #1 from Image Comics -

      For hundreds of years, the human financial landscape has been dominated by eastern and western schools of economics...Schools with very old ties to the supernatural. Some men of these schools have become very powerful captains of the banking system, made almost untouchable by deals with an ancient being, one that gives them all they could ever desire as long as the financial system is stewarded well and remains in balance. However, when the system fails, as it has several times in the recent past - from 1907's market panic, to 1929's Wall Street Crash, to 2007's market crash - these powerful men, must pay the cost in human blood...And not all of it is their own. In the greatest banking merger in history, east meets west in the Caina-Kankrin merger, creating the largest investment bank in all of the world. When the managing partner, Daniel Rothschild, is found horribly murdered, disgraced ace detective, Theodore Dumas, comes off the bench to solve the case. But there is more to Dumas than meets the eye - he is brilliant, but he also has ties with the world of occult magic, ties which help him to see what others cannot. However, Dumas is in way over his head. He is dealing with power, corruption, and aggressive greed on a nearly unimaginable scale, all backed by an old god that is insatiable, and possibly, unstoppable. 

    Arguably, the best writer in comics today, Jonathan Hickman, returns with this intricately written, supernatural thriller and crime noire, "The Black Monday Murders." AND IT IS FIRE! Hickman puts on a clinic in world-building here, masterfully weaving a fictional narrative inside of actual history, creating a timeline that mirrors our own, yet is terribly askew...Or is it? This story sets up the banking system as what many already believe it to be: an evil global cartel run by very powerful men, backed by very old money; however, Hickman's twist is that the cartel is undergirded by a powerful entity bound to these men by a sinister deal struck long ago. And the deal is not without sacrifice; however, those who sacrifice the most are not those reap the most benefits...Which some would say is the case in reality. The world that Hickman builds is dark and oppressive - thank goodness that Tomm Coker is up to the task, laying down pencils as brilliantly oppressive and eerie as Hickman's story. Coker's angles, use of shadow, and weary, expressive faces really convey the burden that the people who live in this world seem to bear - a world where there is no god who cares about them at all. The only one who cares is the reader; I was so captivated by this story, the characters and the world that Hickman built, I knew halfway into the book that I needed to be in on this ride all the way to the bitter end. And I don't foresee the end being anything but bitter. 

    If you're looking for a light, airy, mindless read, "The Black Monday Murders" IS NOT what you are looking for. It is painstakingly detailed with charts, prose biographies of characters, and short historical-fiction pieces that weave gorgeously into the storyline. This comic begs to be read slowly, carefully, and possibly two, or three, times. I predict that this comic will be a sleeper hit. 

RATING: An enthusiastic, unmitigated 10 out of 10. "The Black Monday Murders" is the best, most challenging comic that I have read all year. 

(PS - If you enjoy these articles, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends! Thank you.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Shekhar Kapur's "Devi: Rebirth" #1 Review

Shekhar Kapur's "Devi: Rebirth" #1 from Graphic India -

      Two-hundred years after mankind appeared on the face of the Earth, the war began. The fallen god, Bala, broke from the ways of the gods and decided that he alone would rule and guide humanity to its destiny...And his growing might, fueled by the worship he demanded of mankind, nearly guaranteed his victory. Then she emerged. The Devi. A warrior woman selected as a vessel to house part of the life-forces of the gods of light. She defeated Bala, leaving it to his father, Lord Bodha, king of the gods, to imprison him forever in the bowels of the Earth...Or so it was believed. Now, in the present day, Bala has returned to exact his vengeance upon mankind and the vessel of the Devi - and he is not alone. Can Devi possible hope to stop a mad, calculating, and vengeful deity who has learned from his past errors, and is irreversibly bent of imposing his will on her, the gods, and humankind?

    Out of the creative mind of Shekhar Kapur springs a world of new mythology, the mythology of the Devi! Siddarth Kotian scripts a wonderful story that reads like something translated from ancient scrolls straight to the comic book format. The mythology that Kotian weaves is absolutely vivid, surreal and enthralling. Page after page, I felt myself investing more in the somewhat familiar world and the very unfamiliar characters of Devi. Sure, the dialogue is a bit hokey at times, a little Silver-Age-y, if you will, but that does not take away from the coolness of the story and characters at all; if anything, for me, it only adds to it. I was so  entranced by this story, I even did a bit of research and found that Devi is loosely based on Durga, the warrior manifestation of the goddess Adishakti, who in Hindu belief is the Divine Mother of the Universe. Sweet. Mukesh Singh is on the pencils here, and his art is absolutely great. Singh does it all in this book, ancient backdrops, beautiful women, mighty warriors and dark, evil things - again, he does it all and makes it look easy. I really did not expect to like this comic as much as I did. I love mythologies, but rarely does a comic get them just right to make them attractive to me."Devi: Rebirth" #1 gets the job done, and done right. I can't wait for the next issue.

RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

(PS - If you enjoy these articles, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends! Thank you.)

Monday, September 5, 2016


Hi-de-ho, comics fans!!

    It's me, TEX, back again with that comics knowledge to make you spin!

    As you guys and gals already know, I am sure 'nuff a comics fan. Superheroes, westerns, horror, science-fiction...If it has a great story, characters and it takes me on a journey from the grind of my daily life, TEX will read it and dig it. You savvy? 

    I also collect comics written in the languages that I speak or read, or the ones that I'm learning. Sometimes, I get lucky and come upon great, hard to find gems which are much more scarce than most comics published in the good old U.S.A. - lucky for me, there's probably a smaller circle of people looking, and an even smaller circle of people with the network of friends I've accumulated in several countries who keep their eyes out for something that will make my heart go a-thumpety-thump. 

   Today, I have just such an  item:

    Here, I am proud to present my copy of "La India María" #1, published in Mexico by Ediciones José G. Cruz (J.C.G.) in 1970. La India María was a character created by beloved Mexican comedian and star of movies and TV, María Elena Velasco. Velasco created a character that represented Mexico's forgotten and ignored: the indigenous people whose ancestors dwelled in the place called Mexico long before it was called Mexico, or even New Spain (Nueva España). Some have criticized her character as being nothing but buffoonery, a caricature of a people who had already been ridiculed enough. Others see Velasco's work as genius, choosing to see that her character, even if a bit simple and backwoods, always overcame the odds through hard work, a great attitude, honesty and an endearing goodness of heart that permeates her films. And her critics often forget the biting social commentary that she sometimes inserted into her comedy. "Duro, Pero Seguro" is one of my faves. Check it out below (sorry, I couldn't find it in the English language). 

   The above comic, "La Indía María" #1 is a fotonovela, basically, it is a comic book with photos instead of illustrations, as seen here:

   José G. Cruz was a legendary Mexican comics publisher, and he made many comics like this, my favorites being those that focused on masked luchadores (Mexican pro-wrestlers). I can't wait to roll those out for you guys!

   La India María had a long and successful career in film and TV. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2015. Velasco will be missed, but her comedic antics live on in her works of film and TV, and in José G. Cruz's rib-tickling, but endearing, comic-book series named after the character that Velasco created and made to come alive for over forty years: La India María.

   "La India María" #1 is as scarce as scarce can be. I am glad to have it in my collection!

(PS - If you enjoy these articles, please click the plus 1 buttons below, and on Google Plus, and share them with your friends! Thank you.)

Kingsway West #1 Review

"Kingsway West" #1 from Dark Horse Comics -

    Kingsway Law is a wanted man. Law was once a brutal soldier for the Queen of the Golden City during the wars of the coveted red gold, a war that raged for thirteen long years between the Chinese under the Queen of the Golden City, and the Mexicans of La República de los Californios. Law now lives in The Wild, lands full of monstrous beasts outside of the Queen's rule, and a dwelling place for Freelanders - people who wish to live free of the power of The Golden Queen and the La República de los Californios. However, he cannot escape his past. When the Queen sends deadly bounty hunters to find him, Law is wounded in the fight, and is nursed back to health by a Mexican woman, Sonia, ex-soldier for La República, and the woman who would become the love of his life. Law was a man who became a monster for a cause he believed in. Do monsters get happy endings? It doesn't seem so - when Law's home is burned, and his wife goes missing, Kingsway Law sets out to find her, and God help anyone who gets in his way.

    Greg Pak is back with this fast-paced piece of historical fiction set in what we recognize as the American old west. Taking place in what we now know as California and Nevada, Pak changes history considerably to create a new, but familiar, world in which to locate his story and characters. He gives us a quick, but effective, backstory using caption boxes, and then explodes right into the action moved along by the art and dialogue. While the world that Kingsway Law inhabits is very intriguing, the characters are a bit bland. I like Pak's work, but here, I just couldn't find enough to make me care about the characters enough to want to journey with them. I very much like the feel of the world that Pak has created, but the characters just do not make me want to emotionally invest in them at all. Mirko Colak's art is gorgeous - detailed pencils with busy panels - there is love in the art of this book. Colak's artwork is a great boon to this comic, and helped draw me in to this world that Pak made, keeping me glued page after page, hoping to find something in these characters that would want to make me stay. "Kingsway West" #1 is by no means a terrible book; it has an interesting plot, and beautiful art - it has a LOT of potential - but the first outing just didn't grab me firmly enough to make me want to buy another issue...But I will. Just to see. Pak is a good writer, and this world is an interesting work of fantasy. Maybe issue #2 will what I need to fall in love with "Kingsway West."

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Please hit like if you enjoyed the reviews and PLEASE comment and let me know if you agree or disagree with my reviews. And feel free to share my page with your friends!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Invisible Republic Vol 1

"Invisible Republic" Vol 1 from Image Comics -

     It is the year 2843. Humans have begun to spread outwards into space. Though there are parts of our society that have advanced considerably, there are some parts that never seem to change. Many years ago, before the recent advancements of FTL travel, generation ships found a new star system and colonized a world teeming with life called Asan. Later, its barren moon, once called Maidstone, now named Avalon, was also colonized. Avalon has descended into chaos - the governing power, the Mallory Regime, has fallen. Disgraced reporter, Croger Babb, hoping to redeem himself, and make some money, journeys to Avalon to find out how and why the Mallory Regime fell. When Babb happens upon an old journal written by Maia Reveron, the unknown cousin of the regime's founder, Arthur McBride, he stumbles into the origin of the man behind behind the revolution that birthed a regime, an origin that no one knows...an origin that some would kill in order to keep hidden. As Babb delves deeper into the past of McBride, deeper into the story of an indentured slave turned revolutionary, turned dictator, he learns about the stark reality of what it means to live on this harsh, unforgiving moon. This story could put Babb back on top...If he lives to write it.

    Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko write this captivating throwback to classic science-fiction. This is absolutely perfect world-building and and character development - it is easy to see that Hardman and Bechko live in the world that they created right alongside each character that they write. "Invisible Republic" is an intricate work of imagination - an imagined future of scientific advances; yet, a future where man has remained very human with his wondrous ability to adapt, and his awful ability to oppress and marginalize. Hardman and Bechko have tapped into the essence of what makes great since-fiction stories great: at the heart of it, no matter where or when the story unfolds, "Invisible Republic" is a very human story - a story of humanity at its best and worst. Each character is fully realized with motivations, fears, strengths and flaws - each voice is absolutely distinct. Also, Hardman moves the intricate story along at a beautiful clip with his equally intricate pencils which are bolstered by Jordan Boyd's brilliantly joyless colors that speak to the reader of the bleakness of this future world. If all this weren't enough, Bechko gives us two essays written by her hand on bees, and the problems and politics of the theoretical generation ship. WOW.

    When I pick up a sci-fi comic and hear echoes of Asimov and Heinlein, my heart just beats so much faster. It's no wonder that this series was nominated this year for the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story. 

RATING: 10 out of 10. I can't wait to buy the next volume. 

Please hit like if you enjoyed the reviews and PLEASE comment and let me know if you agree or disagree with my reviews. And feel free to share my page with your friends!


Thursday, September 1, 2016

DC Comics Art Academy!!


          For you artists out there, Ivan Reis, one of the biggest stars at DC Comics, gives a seminar!!

          Just click, watch and enjoy...AND DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM!!