This Months Reading List

Well, here is January's reading list. I warn you it is a bit of a whopper:


2000Ad Progs 1765, 1766, 1767, 1768 & Judge Dredd Megazine Issue 319, 320 - BUY
2000 AD is the cutting edge powerhouse of British comics. Imaginative, hard-hitting stories and eye-popping art have made 2000 AD essential reading - from the violent satire of futuristic lawman Judge Dredd and the war-torn world of Rogue Trooper to the robot mayhem of the ABC Warriors and the stone-cold mutant killers of Strontium Dog.

Orchid #1- BORROW
When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. Human settlements are ringed by a dense wilderness from which ferocious new animal species prey on the helpless. The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful that overlook swampland shantytowns from their fortress-like cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves. Welcome to the world of Orchid.

Spaceman #1- BUY
Spaceman” is a story of the future. If you’re familiar with Azzarello’s writing and Risso’s art, you’ll know immediately that this is not a bright and shiny utopia future. It’s dirty and nasty, pretty much the worst of the present. Orson is a man genetically engineered to function in space, except there isn’t a space program anymore and he’s not exactly fit for life on Earth. Superficially dim-witted and looking like the missing link, he salvages and buys drugs off kids. Much of this issue is an introduction -- a feeling out process -- for this future and exactly what it’s like, with the plot taking a backseat to a degree.

Fathom - Blue descent #0 - BORROW
The mysteries of the Blue abound. But none more so than the faded origin of Fathom's leading heroine, Aspen Matthews. The past, once washed away amongst the ocean tides, is now at the forefront as Aspen's early childhood years -- and the pain, anguish, and murder, which would shape her future -- are finally revealed! In this thrilling introductory zero issue, Aspen descends into her past life, setting herself on a quest to once-and-for-all put to rest the secrets of her origin and discover her true heritage that lies beneath the surface!


Danger Girl and the Army of Darkness #4 - BUY
The adventure in South Africa heats up as Secret Agent Zero arrives to aid Abbey and Ash in their pursuit of the stolen Necronomicon. But when Zero crosses paths with an old adversary from the former Hammer Empire, will his thirst for revenge put Abbey in the middle of the crossfire? Find out as the year’s most dangerous crossover event continues!

DC Universe Online Legends #18, #19 & #20 - BUY
Following the cataclysmic events on Earth and Korugar, the Justice League regroups and begins an exploration of Brainiac's abandoned scout ship...will it finally reveal answers or will it be the final stroke of Brainiac's plan in conquering Earth? And how far will Luthor go to clear his name and save the planet?

Detective Comics #4 - BUY
As Batman uncovers a deranged plot with far-reaching tentacles that touch some of the city's most elite citizens, he finds himself facing off against his newest and most fearsome foes: Dollmaker and his twisted family of killers!

Gears of War #21 - BUY
In part 3 of "Dirty Little Secrets," the Gears have found their respite on the island of Vectes to be all too brief. The Lambent – a deadly, mutating lifeform – has followed them from the mainland and now threatens to wipe out what's left of humankind. Chairman Prescott has a plan he can reveal to no one – least of all Marcus Fenix.

Ghostbusters #2 & #3 - BUY
Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you or any of your family ever seen a spook, specter or ghost? If the answer is yes, call the professionals! Psychokinetic energy is on the rise again, business is booming for the boys, and Ray is troubled by what could be a prophetic dream… Is this an ill omen of an upcoming apocalypse, or just a little indigestion? These questions and more are raised in the first issue of the all-new, ongoing GHOSTBUSTERS!

 Lady Mechanika #3 - BORROW
LADY MECHANIKA’s quest to retrieve the ‘Mechanical Girl’ along with her mysterious maker takes her up to the clouds, where she must infiltrate a masquerade ball aboard Lord Blackpool’s airship high in the sky. While the nefarious Blackpool showcases a new advanced weapon added to his impressive armament catalog to a captive audience, Mechanika discovers something quite unexpected, that may hold a clue to her own creation!

Star Trek #3 & #4 - BORROW
The adventures of the new Enterprise crew continue in this re-imagining of the classic episode "The Galileo 7"! Mr. Spock finds himself in command of a stranded shuttle crew fighting for survival, in a tale featuring the new cast from the blockbuster STAR TREK film!

Star Wars - Agent of the Empire: Iron Eclipse #1 - BUY
The name's Cross. Jahan Cross. Move over, James Bond; there's a new secret agent in the galaxy, and he has the weight of the Empire behind him! Cross's mission takes him and his assistant IN-GA 44 to the affluent Corporate Sector. There, on the trail of stolen droid technology, they will rub elbows with diplomats and desperadoes, captains of industry and sergeants of the local police—and rub most of them the wrong way!

Suicide Squad #4 - BUY
The body count rises! Another Squad member falls – but not the way you might expect! Betrayal follows betrayal as Captain Boomerang joins the Squad in a smash-and-grab against the terrorist organization Kobra, and Harley Quinn shows why you should never, ever recruit Squad members from Arkham Asylum. Brace yourself for a last-page shocker the likes of which the Squad has never faced before!

 Warlord of Mars #13 & #14 - BUY
John Carter returns to Mars to be with his beloved princess and the son he has never known – at least, that was his plan. He arrives on the Red Planet in a forest of horrors, a place he's never seen before. Fortunately, an old friend joins him soon enough. Before Carter can look for answers about where he is, he's going to have to do what he does best – kick a little ass. Well, more than a little! Warlord of Mars #13: A Forest Battle is the thrilling first installment of the Gods of Mars story arc, believed by some to be the finest of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars novels.

Flash Gordon Zeitgeist #1 - BUY
Three valiant humans -- Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov -- are plucked from the Earth, travelling to the distant planet Mongo. Their exploits are legendary, battling the machinations and terror schemes of the dreaded emperor Ming, the All-Seeing Ruler of Mongo. But they did not fight alone…

Valen the outcast #1 - BORROW
The King is dead — long live the DEAD KING! King Valen Brand is a fair, just king as well as a great and mighty warrior. Killed by a Necromancer in battle and resurrected as one of the walking dead. Now he’s considered an abomination in his own realm,an outcast with only one purpose: to restore his lost soul!

The Activity #1 - BUY
The evolution of global warfare necessitates the evolution of special forces to rise and meet the call. The U.S Army has therefore looked to its last secret special operations tribe, the INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT ACTIVITY, or Gray Fox. Within Gray Fox is a team of elite men and women whose mission is flexible, whose technology is bleeding edge, and whose execution is precise and lethal. They are Team Omaha, and they serve THE ACTIVITY.

The Strain #1 - BORROW
When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event-an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness.

Graphic Novels & Trade Paper Backs

Batgirl, The Flood:- BUY
Batgirl must stop The Calculator from unleashing upon Gotham City a nanovirus that will turn its citizens into mindless techno-zombies. A string of bizarre, technology-based suicides gets the attention of both Batgirl and Oracle – for very different reasons. The two heroes soon realize that they’re targets of The Calculator, a nefarious villain bent on revenge against the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, now known as Oracle.

A Fistful of Blood: - BUY
"Yohimbo" collides with "Last Man Standing"."  This crazy, goth horror, spaghetti western is ripped from the minds and pencils of Kevin Eastman and Simon Bisley.

Tron Original Movie Adaptation: - BORROW
Marvel Comics is proud to bring to you a stunning new visualization of the original TRON film. Learn the secrets of the Tron Universe. Discover its cast of dynamic characters. Witness the events of the legendary film in an all-new comic event with Tron: Original Movie Adaptation

Novels & Audio Books

Star Wars VI The Return of the Jedi- Radio Play: - BORROW
Return of the Jedi was a six-part radio adaptation of the original film, Return of the Jedi produced in 1996 and broadcast on National Public Radio in the US. It is the third series of the expanded radio dramatization of the original Star Wars trilogy. The first two radio series, Star Wars (1981) and The Empire Strikes Back (1983), were produced and broadcast by National Public Radio as part of NPR Playhouse.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: - BUY
Sent to investigate mysterious encounters that are disrupting international shipping, Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil, and disgruntled harpooner Ned Land are captured when their frigate is sunk during an encounter with the "monster." The submarine Nautilus and its eccentric Captain Nemo afford the professor and his companions endless fascination and danger as they're swept along on a yearlong undersea voyage.

In Summary

It has been a bit of a full month this month, and as promised I've made up for the lack of comics last month too!

Everything was pretty good this month, nothing stands out in memory as a bad read. I'm VERY pleased to report that IDWs ongoing Ghostbusters comic title is brilliant! All fears from the issue one are resolved and the comic is looking like I'll be keeping it on my pull list for the foreseeable future.

Despite enjoying all of the comics and books I read this month, I do have a few related gripes!

To start the moaning off, let's start with Lady Mechanika!

Now, don't get me wrong on this one, I love the title. The art and writing are just amazing! I just refuse to wait so long between issues. So after very little thought I decided I am dropping this one as a so-called monthly and I'm going to wait for it to trade. For a bit of back ground on my reasoning, I reviewed #1 over a year ago, we are now just on issue #3! I have to keep re-reading the back issues every time I get a new one. This is making them tire and could ruin what is a fantastic and a little bit special comic for me. I just have to hope that one day there is enough material created to publish a traded collection – most likely in 2059 at this rate!

While I'm crapping on things: Batgirl the Flood. I LOVE this book! Steph as Batgirl is awesome, and Brian Q Miller and the creative team behind this book were robbed in my opinion by DC when they re-booted the title in line with the New 52. Here is hoping the new title fails and they realise their mistake, which may be the case with the fall in sales for the New 52 Batgirl that are being recorded. 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, it took two months to read but I got there in the end. I really liked this story as a kid and I found myself really wanting to get to the fight with the giant kraken, then when it wasn't happening I wondered if I had mixed up the story with another or maybe it was in the film and not the book? No, it was in the book and it was as awesome as I remembered it! For me the let down in the story was the amount of 'info dumping' throughout which I think my child mind when I was younger seemed to forget about. At times it felt more of a lecture on nautical history, oceanic life, and just how good the oceanic life either tasted or how good it would taste with the right sauce! I found my eyes rolling when reading a paragraphs where they would start with Nemo saying, 'So tell me Professor, what do you know about...' and I would sigh and say out loud, 'Here we go again.'

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a great book, one of the first ever sci-fi books ever written and therefore you should read it for that reason alone. Not only that it is a fantastic (and I use that word on purpose) adventure story – one of the best.   

Lets finish on a high, A Fist Full of Blood. I have read a mixed bag of reviews of this graphic novel created by the mad creative team of Kevin Eastman and Simon Bisley. For me though, it rocked it out of the park!

Sexy, violent and a mind boggling mix of sci-fi, horror, and bonkersness by the bucket load. It is just about everything I would expect and more from this creative duo. Quite simply, if you love either of these guys work then you'll love this book. If you are easily offended, DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK as it will warp your fragile mind with its nudity, big boobies, violence, zombies, big boobies, vampires and balls out insanity – and did I mention big boobies? 

Now onto the highlight of the month.

This Month’s Highlight

This month it is something I have only ever dreamed of: Flash Gordon Zeitgeist #1 

'Three valiant humans -- Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov  are plucked from the Earth, travelling to the distant planet Mongo. Their exploits are legendary, battling the machinations and terror schemes of the dreaded emperor Ming, the All-Seeing Ruler of Mongo. But they did not fight alone…'

Where to start?

This is Flash as he should be. There, to my memory, have been countless attempts to re-envision Flash Gordon and his adventure. Most have failed, some epically! Why is this? For me it seems to be that everyone is hell bent on trying to update Flash Gordon and not the story telling. Which to me seems an odd way to go about things. What made Flash, Flash was the character and his adventures. Change these key elements and it is no longer Flash Gordon.

What the clever guys at Dynamite have done with Flash Gordon Zeitgeist is just that. They have left Flash alone and looked at how they can update the way his story is told, and it works brilliantly! The art and visual conceptions are simply inspiring, the characters are bang on and the story is already looking like it is going to be outstanding. The last time I read a comic and got this vibe was with The Warlord of Mars. Oddly another Dynamite publication.

What every they are putting in the water at Dynamite I hope they continue with it.

This comic is Flash Gordon as I always dreamed he could be – an almost perfect 4.5 out of 5 Ray Guns!

*How my ratings work: 

1: Awful, 2: Passable, 3: Good, 4: Brilliant, 5: Knocked it Out of the Park!

 Buy – You can't afford to miss this one! / Borrow – It's worth a read, but maybe not your money! / Miss – Don't bother, it is that bad!


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