Reviews: Battling Boy & Gambit Volume 1

Battling Boy (2013). First Second. Written and illustrated by Paul Pope.

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Monsters roam through Arcopolis, swallowing children into the horrors of their shadowy underworld. Only one man is a match for them – the genius vigilante Haggard West. Unfortunately, Haggard West is dead. Arcopolis is desperate, but when its salvation comes in the form of a twelve-year-old demigod, nobody is more surprised than Battling Boy himself.

Magical t-shirts, space, crazy monsters? What’s not to love about this book?

Battling Boy is a demi-god who has been sent to Acropolis to prove himself. He’s been told very little about what he’s supposed to do and is only given some magical t-shirts with which to accomplish his goals. He goes in just as blind as the reader and together you discover just how crazy this world is and how much work needs to be done. This is the kind of story that I would have inhaled as a kid (and frankly still is). It’s action packed, dangerous and above all a little crazy. The villain is also incredibly creepy.

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In terms of the artwork, I applaud Paul Pope’s unique style but found it a little abnormal for my taste. Sort of like how Ren and Stimpy used to make me feel – a.k.a unsettled. That’s not to say it was bad, just not my style.

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Given my affinity for awesome super-heroines it should be no surprise that I was most enthralled with Aurora West, so I am very excited to see she is getting her own book later this year. However upon giving my copy to a nine year old boy I was quickly informed that in fact the t-shirts are the coolest part (and a trip to school for show and tell finds that others agree – I’m outnumbered!)

Gambit Volume 1: Always a Thief (2013). Marvel. Written by James Asmus. Illustrated by Clay Mann & Diogenes Neves.

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When Marvel’s premiere thief sets his sights on his biggest score yet, he may just end up over his head. Desperately searching for a means to destroy the pilfered artifact that’s cursed him, Gambit journeys deep into the Guatemalan jungles in search of a lost temple – but finds an ancient god-monster accidentally loosed on Earth! It’s going to take more than just playing cards and southern charm to get out of this one!  Then, coerced by a criminal mastermind, Gambit is sent to the United Kingdom to heist the greatest weapon in the history of man: Excalibur! How will Marvel’s premiere thief manage to dupe his extortionist while also escaping with a clear name? Be here as the X-Men’s ragin’ cajun kicks off his all-new solo career!

Gambit and Rogue were my OTP before that was even a term people used. I remember watching them on the old X-Men cartoon before school and loving every line of their Southern dialogue. And Gambit’s absence from the X-Men movies (let’s just pretend the Wolverine origin movie doesn’t count) was one of my biggest disappoints. So when I saw he was staring in his own comic series I knew I had to check it out.

I thought this collection started out on a strong note. Gambit is a lot more mature after everything he’s gone through but he is still himself and he is dying to return to his old ways (if only for a little while). But as it continued I began to lose interest. Primarily because he hardly interacts with any of the other X-Men. I know this is his solo series but I have a hard time believing the team/the school wouldn’t be a central part of his life/thoughts. The second reason was that this reads just like an Indiana Jones story, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but doesn’t feel particularly “X-Men.” This could have been any generic thief in my opinion. And finally the love interest. She fell completely flat to me. Her actions didn’t make any sense and ultimately she is completely forgettable.

Despite how initially excited I was for this series I don’t think I will be continuing with Volume 2.

New Comics Day: Our January 22 Pull List

ARDO’S LIST

Black Widow #2 (Marvel) 

 

 

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ANOTHER ISSUE IN JANUARY AGAIN??? YAY!

Pretty Deadly #4 (Image Comics) 

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First issue of 2014! Woot woot!

 

Hawkeye #16 (Marvel) 

 

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I love Hawkeye. Although #16 is out but #15 isn’t…

 

X-Men Vol. 4 #9 (Marvel) 

 

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I’m getting bored with this series so hopefully this’ll be interesting.

 

Marvel Knights: X-Men #3 (of 5) (Marvel)

 

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Part 3. Let’s see where they’ll take this…

Hacktivist #1 (Archaia/Boom! Studios)

 

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I’ve been excited for this for months. A comic created by Alyssa Milano and it’s inspired by Anonymous and the creator of Twitter.

Deadly Class #1 (Image Comics)

 

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This sounds amazing…

CHRISTA’S LIST

Black Widow #2 (Marvel)

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The first issue was extremely promising and I adore the artwork. I have high hopes for this series.

Harley Quinn #2 (DC Comics)

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I’m still not sure about this series but I want to believe it’ll be good. Plus Poison Ivy is guest starring.

Hawkeye #16 (Marvel)

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KATE BISHOP ON THE COVER!

Legends of Red Sonja #3 (Dynamite)

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There’s been a dynamite team (Hehe) behind this limited series. And the amazing Nicola Scott is contributing to this installment.

Marvel Knights X-Men #3 (Marvel)

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Another great limited series.

Pretty Deadly #4 (Image)

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The art in this comic is just soooo good. I want to hang it all over my walls.

X-Men #9 (Marvel)

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So many badass ladies. One book.

New Comics Day: Our December 18 Pull List

CHRISTA’S PULL LIST

Ghost #1 (Dark Horse)

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New series by Kelly Sue Deconnick. Auto buy every time.

Avengers Assemble #22 (Marvel)

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Speaking of Kelly Sue – Since I am temporarily without Captain Marvel I decided to try out her other Marvel series the other week. Though it was an Inhumanity tie in, it stands pretty well on it’s own. Plus it was Spider Girl, Spider Woman and Black Widow. This is definitely an Avengers series worth checking out

Harley Quinn #1 (DC Comics)

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I read issue #0 of this and think it could have potential. I like that Harley seems to break the fourth wall a lot in this series and I could easily see this becoming DC’s Deadpool if they play their cards right

Pretty Deadly #3 (Image)

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This is just Kelly Sue Deconnick week isn’t it?

Red Sonja #6 (Dynamite)

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My surprise favourite comic of the year!

Saga #17 (Image)

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Just read it. You’ll understand.

Umbral #2 (Image)

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The first issue of this was incredibly beautiful and I am a sucker for any sort of magical fantasy world. High hopes for this series.

X-Men #8 (Marvel)

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Part 2 of the Muertas story arc. Monet has joined the team and I’m personally excited to see an unfamiliar face on the team.

Young Avengers #14 (Marvel)

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Second last issue! If you’ll excuse me I’ll be over in the corner devouring an entire pint of ice cream.

ARDO’S PULL LIST

Harley Quinn #1

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Excited to see where this goes after issue #0…

Pretty Deadly #3

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I’m in love with this series. So good.

X-Men Vol. 4 #8

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I’m luke warm about this series. Hopefully it’ll find it’s tempo from the first few issues…

What are you reading?

Cover Comments November 2012 – Marvel and Image Edition

Welcome to cover comments! A monthly feature where we break down what we think are the best and worst covers the month has to offer.

Like Ardo, I also thought this month with kind of meh for covers. There weren’t too many that really stood out for me, but on the other hand there weren’t that many truly awful ones either. So I guess it all evens out. Here are the ones that did manage to catch my eye.

[MARVEL COMICS]

Infinity #6

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 Love the colour scheme  – the cooler tones might actually work in its favour and help it stand out on a shelf of incredibly bright, busy covers. Usually on covers like this (with everybody they can fit smushed together) proportions start to waver. For example people’s spine’s seem to disappear, arms come out of nowhere etc. But in this one everyone appears functioning as normal. Nice work.

Avengers #23

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This looks more like an orgy than a fight or explosion or whatever it’s supposed to be. Particularly because of the looks on Black Widow and Thor’s respective faces. And Spider Woman’s boobs seem to have a life of their own. Those problems I was talking about above – here they are.

Avengers Assemble #21

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Favourite Marvel Cover of the Month!

Love the bright, almost candy-like colours and how fierce all these fabulous ladies look. I’m going to need to buy this.

Superior Spider Man #22

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Now I know Spider Man is usually drawn a bit…rubbery. I mean he has to jump off and on building and swing around on his web. But this particular Spider Man looks a little too loose to me. His joints just don’t look right –  it almost looks as though his bones have melted like Harry Potter’s hand during that Qudditch match in the Chamber of Secrets.

Wolverine and the X-Men #38

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It’s not surprising to see male superheroes with a ton of impossible muscles. But I’m sorry but his arm is just ridiculous. I burst out laughing every time I look at this.

BONUS: Fearless Defenders #11

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Another unique and striking cover for the Fearless Defenders ladies. I’m going to miss these 😦

[Image Comics]

Pretty Deadly#2

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Favourite Image Cover of the Month!

STUNNING! Just everything about it.

Revival #15

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In the midst of superheroes and fantasy and mayhem there’s something to be said for the realistic approach. This cover is expertly drawn and straightforward and the colour palette reflects the mood on the character’s face. Simple but effective.

Todd the Ugliest Kid on Earth #7

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Now I don’t read this comic and it doesn’t really sound like my thing, but I had to give this cover a shout out. Partially because I love the juxtaposition of that adorable little kid sitting on the lap of the devil and partially because the detail in this cover is amazing. Particularly the throne.

Walking Dead #116

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Is it just me or are these covers getting lazier? This looks like they took an earlier picture and copy and pasted it onto another background. It has the cheap feeling of a rushed Photoshop job.

Satellite Sam #5

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I know some people who really dislike these covers and others who love them but no matter how you feel about them you have to recognize talent. The shading and colourwork is great. It’s possible this may not be the final cover but I hope they keep it.

Definitely not as many stand out covers as there were last month. Overall though I think Marvel definitely takes the prize out of the two. The Marvel ones I liked I REALLY liked. Check out what Ardo thought of the DC and Dark Horse offering here. 

New Comics Day: Our October 30 Pull List

ARDO’S PULL LIST

Damian: Son of Batman #1 (of 4) (DC)

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I fell in love with Damian as a character in the New 52’s Batman and Robin. and was really sad he was killed off. I’m intrigued by this new title and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a limited run.

The Double Life of Miranda Turner #1 (Monkeybrain Comics)

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Another female led title from Monkeybrain! I’m excited.

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CHRISTA’S PULL LIST

Saga #15 (Image)

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Yeah Baby. *does new issue of Saga dance*

True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #5 (Dark Horse)

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I feel like it’s been awhile. Really looking forward to this one – it hasn’t let me down yet.

X-Men Battle of the Atom #2 (Marvel)

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It all comes down to this!

Nightwing Annual #1 (DC Comics)

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I’m actually not much of a Nightwing fan but I am a HUGE Batgirl fan. So I’m buying this for her.

Archives: “Canuck Comics Fact #3”

Originally published September 20th, 2013.

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Fun Fact: Not many people know this but our favourite X-Men is Canadian. Logan (aka Wolverine) was born James Howlett in Alberta, Canada and spent a lot of his time in our great nation before joining up with the X-Men. Despite not being the first Canadian superhero in terms of publication history, he does hold that title in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel Comics wins NYCC

One of the best things about Comic Con is all the announcements. New movies, new TV shows and of course, new comic books.  There’s guaranteed to be at least a few books that catch my eye. This year, however, Marvel pulled out all the stops. They announced so many new books that I absolutely have to have and it really does seem like they’re listening to their fans. Here’s a list of my top picks:

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She Hulk returns in her own solo series! It’s written by Charles Soule (who I’m a tad apprehensive of) and illustrated by  Javier Pulido. I really hope they do this fabulous character justice.

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Black Widow is also getting her own solo series. Written by Nathan Edmundson and drawn by Phil Soto this series will look at her life when she’s not being an Avenger.

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Elektra  – written Zeb Wells and with interior art and covers by Mike Del Mundo. Confession: I know nothing, zip, nadda about Elektra. I haven’t read any Daredevil comics, I didn’t see the movie…seriously I’ve got nothing. But the art for this book looks so gorgeous I’m going to read it anyway.

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Captain Marvel is relaunching. I’m not 100% clear on why it’s relaunching, but word is will be seeing more of Captain Marvel in space, which sounds pretty cool. Kelly Sue Deconnick is staying on as the writer and David Lopez is coming over from X-Men for interiors. (What does this mean for X-Men? I have no clue).

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New Warriors almost slipped by me! It will be written by Chris Yost and art by Marcus To. Looks like members will include; Justice, Nova, Speedball, Scarlet Spider and Sun Girl. I am familiar with almost none of these characters, but I’ve really been enjoying Young Avengers and I’m hoping this is in the same vein.

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Dan Slott announced he would be writing a Silver Surfer with Mike Allred illustrating. Never paid much attention to Silver Surfer, but the description of an alien who can travel throughout space with a female companion (Dawn Greenwood) just sounds too much like Doctor Who for me to pass on. Plus I adored Allred’s work on FF.

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All New X-Factor by Peter David and art by  Carmine Di Giandomenico. So far the team members announced are Polaris, Quicksilver and Gambit. I saw Gambit and I was sold.

On the DC side of things, there were less promising announcements – except one. But it’s one that I am VERY excited for. Next year a new Batman Eternal book will hit shelves and in the third issue Stephanie Brown will be returning to the DC Universe! I personally think this calls for a Batgirl themed party.

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For even more new series announcements check out yesterday’s News Day Tuesday