Reviews April 2013 week two

Jake and Finn mess with Princess Bubblegum’s time machine. Do you know what that is? It is mmmmmuuuUUUNNNNACEPTABLE! 

 – Dominique on Adventure Time vol 2 

Julio’s Day h/c (£14-99, Fantagraphics) by Gilbert Hernandez.

Long have I loved Beto, but this blew my brains out. On page after page after page, this is arresting.

“People who have secrets go to Hell.” 

This is the story of Julio Reyes, from the moment he’s born screaming until the day he dies gasping for air. It begins and ends with a gaping black mouth. There: I’ve given it all away. 

Actually, I have told you nothing, and I intend to keep it that way.

It is not the story of Julio who is but a witness to his family’s travails, for he emphatically does nothing at all. He keeps everything bottled up, right to the bitter end. He wastes his entire life. Instead he witnesses others going off to war and falling in love; dying, lying and crying. Some will cry over him but Julio is resolutely impassive. Or missing something – an emotional chip, maybe. I’ve known people like that.

So it is instead the story of several generations of his family – of his sister and her daughter and her daughter’s son and grandson – who do quite wonderful things and quite shocking things. There are a good five buzz words that would send you scurrying to this book, but I cannot deploy them or you would not then be shocked. Trust me: you will be shocked. And pleasantly surprised.

It is a book about love, about lust, about helping others and taking advantage of them. It is a book about family. It is a book about 99 pages long and about £15 unless you have a student card, a UB40 or an Old Age Pensioners’ bus pass.

The landscapes are astounding: great big rock formations and mudslides and torrential rain. The skies at night are the stuff of the Northern Lights.

There’s a certain formality to it, as there is to Julio and indeed this review. It begins in 1900 and ends in the year 2000.

“No secrets in the house!”

Don’t you believe it.


Buy Julio’s Day h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Hey You! (And Other Stories) (£6-00, self-published) by Dan Berry.


My favourite book yet from the creator of AFTER WE SHOT THE GRIZZLY and CAT ISLAND – and that’s no easy feat.

Bound as ever in a quality card-stock cover here in white and lime greens, this beautiful short-story collection is a observational gem full of delicate pen-and-ink drawings, some with soft washes, others warm and bold, one midnight cold.

That would belong to belong to the titular ‘Hey You!’, an ode to insomnia about the people and paranoia which can keep us awake in hotel bedrooms until the early hours of the morning. Perfect punchline!

Equally eerie is the second of our spooks, the ghastly Grey Man – as invented by Joe List in LAND LUBBER. This elusive agent of malaise lurks and lingers, leaving disconcerting evidence of his cold and clammy touch, or simply dampening your day with his mild malignancy.

The second of these has been completely recoloured since its online incarnation seen here, offsetting the drabness of the Grey Man himself with the warmest of mayonnaise yellows and blood-clot burgundies (it really is the colour of a scab), and is a masterpiece of single-page composition, the punchline not being “You get no change” but the Grey Man’s defiant, impenitent, territorial “HSSSSSSS!”. You’re not going to get any change.

‘Men Who Climb’ is absolutely true. I have witnessed precisely this scenario underneath Trent Bridge with a man feeling up the chunky stone masonry with an almost fetishistic lust for many minutes, before proceeding to climb, if only two feet off the ground, and stay there, his entire body pressed against his beloved wall.

The longest piece is a record of Dan’s trip to Algiers where he gave lectures and workshops in comics. Oh, the heat and the hiccups! Transportational, mainly. Thankfully Dan’s mobile phone has a torch. Cell phones have torches?!

I found this piece particularly interesting, culturally, as Dan embarks on his storytelling workshop:

“I used the premise I normally use when I do these things – a man wants to steal a book from a book shop. Starting from there, we talk about what the story requires, how best to approach it and how to show the character’s motivations. When I’ve done these sessions in the UK, the character’s motivations have always emerged as selfish, but in Algeria, the character that we developed acted nobly. I ended up daring three panels of the character getting rejected at a cash machine as final artwork to show more of my process.”

I should also make mention of the vast sense of space in ‘Algiers’, the white between each spot-illustration reflecting the wash slapped all over the North African masonry to keep cool the homes which would otherwise bake in the desiccating heat. This is enhanced in no small part by lettering which is exquisitely neat but far from clinical. The landscapes are glorious, while poor Dan’s sun-induced suffering could not be conveyed with more sweaty success. If sunstroke were contagious, I’d have caught it.


Buy Hey You! (And Other Stories) and read the Page 45 review here

Uber #0 (£2-99, Avatar) by Kieron Gillen & Canaan White…

It does amuse me greatly that our very own resident grammar-Nazi, Stephen L. Holland, quite firmly insists that no accents or umlauts must be used in titles or creator names on the Page 45 website. He’s right of course, because no one with an Anglicised keyboard ever bothers typing them into search engines thus causing a perilous lack of results if they are used, but I am quite sure it must be distressing his leather-clad interior editor to see deliberately mis-spelt words. Is it wrong therefore that I derive more than a little schadenfreude from this situation heh heh?

I am actually going to suggest anyone reading this starts at the back. Not with the ending obviously, but Kieron’s mini-essay explaining, almost apologetically, precisely why he’s written this work. It’s amusingly self-deprecating and is a roundabout way of politely pointing out that whilst yes, it’s a no-holds-barred gore-fest of a comic about super-Nazis, he is actually trying to make a few points about what WW2 and all its intrinsic horrors says about us as a species.

So… It is the very dying moments of the war, the Russians are already ploughing through the suburbs of Berlin and Adolf is just waiting for the knock on his door to see if he wants to come out and play. Any German soldiers with any common sense whatsoever are doing their very best to look busy whilst shuffling subtly westwards in the hope of surrendering to the Allies rather than the Reds. Except, a certain research division might just have come up with something that, whilst it might be too late to completely turn the tide, could at least ensure the Allies’ victory is a pyrrhic one at best. Cue the super-Nazis! Who really do make Captain America look like a boy scout, as they not only have increased strength but other insanely destructive capabilities like energy manipulation powers. Game on!

There is a substantial cast of characters introduced in this first issue, on all sides, including some whose allegiance might not be quite as it seems, which is as it should be, because espionage was an extremely important part of the war effort on all sides.

I really enjoyed this opener, I must say. I have a huge interest in WW2 and I enjoyed Kieron’s attention to detail: he clearly has done his research as he alludes to in his afterword. And from this issue we can clearly see he is, as promised, not shying away from displaying the very disturbing underbelly of the conflict and its toll upon the civilian populace.

Note: this issue #0 is already out of print. Now Avatar are doing a very limited reprint (7500 copies) of a £4-99 version of it, with lots of extra non-story material included. It is the only reprint there will be before the trade comes out. Which, personally, I think if daft, but anyway if you want one, please let us know quickly. We have ordered some of the reprint, but how many we will receive I don’t know.


Buy Uber #0 and read the Page 45 review here

Naoki Urasawa’s 21st Century Boys vol 2 (£8-99, Viz) by Naoki Urusawa…

“Did you hear that song, just now?!”
“I’m the one that put it on.”
“Starting from tomorrow… I… I was never going to do anything with anybody, ever again… Will you be my friend?”
“Sure, but… you don’t become friends with somebody just by saying you will.”
“Hey. You’re…”

Haha, don’t panic, for those of who have been reading Naoki Urasawa’s 20TH CENTURY BOYS for the last eight years, I am not about to spoil the grand reveal of the identity of the Friend which we’ve all waited so long and so patiently to learn, suffering the myriad misdirections Mr. Urasawa has beguiled us with along the way! All good things must come to an end, even in the world of incredibly long manga series, and this is no exception. It seems somehow fitting therefore that the reveal is provided by something as innocuous as a conversation between our young hero Kenji and the Friend himself.

A conversation that’s taking place in virtual reality… witnessed by the adult (and real) Kenji, whilst he searches for clues to the location of the remote control for the Friend’s ultimate doomsday weapon. It’s rather amusingly obvious in retrospect where it was going to be, but I certainly didn’t guess! Of all of the excellent titles on Viz’s more intelligent and thought-provoking Signature Ikki line (PLUTO, IKIGAMI, HOUSE OF FIVE LEAVES, SATURN APARTMENTS, CHILDREN OF THE SEA, BOKURANO OURS, BIOMEGA, I’LL GIVE IT MY ALL TOMORROW… to name some of my personal favourites) this is by far the longest at 24 volumes: 22 volumes of 20TH CENTURY BOYS and the 2 concluding boos entitled 21st CENTURY BOYS, as mostly they run to a maximum of 8 or so. But Urasawa is a master at producing an extended storyline, as he proved with the frustratingly out-of-print MONSTER (I believe there is some dispute temporarily preventing reprints). He knows exactly how to tantalise and tease, inserting twists and turns that prolong the reading experience, without ever feeling like it’s just for the sake of selling a few more volumes! If you like light-hearted speculative fiction, do give it a try, especially as now it is complete, so you won’t have to wait a full eight years to read it all, unlike us!

Finally, the one thing I can tell you without spoiling anything, just in case you were wondering is the identity of the song referred to above. It is of course, 20th Century Boy by T. Rex!


Buy Naoki Urasawa’s 21st Century Boys vol 2 and read the Page 45 review here

Adventure Time vol 2 (£10-99, Kaboom) by Ryan North & Shelli Paroline, Braden Lamb, Mike Holmes, Lisa Moore –

Jake and Finn mess with Princess Bubblegum’s time machine. Do you know what that is? It is mmmmmuuuUUUNNNNACEPTABLE!

The entire timeline of Ooo gets messed up, everyone is a bit wrong, Finn looks sort of like Susan Strong but with a cyborg arm and Bmo is being very weird. Obviously our bros must fix it so that o gets back to normal, and fix it they do in their inimitable ADVENTURE TIMEy style.

They’ve done an excellent job with this comic because bringing the insane awesomeness of the cartoon onto the printed page can’t have been easy. It really is like reading an episode; it looks and feels like the Ooo we all know and love and secretly want to live in. My favourite touches are the tiny, almost illegible footnotes at the bottom of the pages; little fourth-wall-breaking bits of nonsense that add another layer to the comic and make it less like “just” a silent version of the cartoon.

Apart from that it’s all very straight forward: grab your friends and go to very distant lands! The art style is pretty much faithful to the cartoon, very pretty, bright and cute. You’ll be able to spot your favourite characters (snow golem!!) in the background even if they are not in the main story and just generally marvel at how people come up with all this insane stuff. There is a cover gallery in the back too, reproducing the variant covers from issues 5 to 9, if that’s your sort of thing. Lovely, jolly stuff perfect for fans of ADVENTURE TIME, young relatives who have birthdays coming up or just anyone who could do with cheering up really!

Also, apparently there is an Acoustics Princess. Who knew?


Buy Adventure Time vol 2 s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Husbands h/c (£10-99, Dark Horse) by Jane Espenson, Brad Bell, Ron Chan & Rob Chan, Natalie Nourigat, M.S. Corley, Ben Dewey, Tania del Rio –

“Surprise is my best weapon. Well, my flesh-eating battle vomit is my best weapon, but surprise is part of that, too.”

If you are not sure what HUSBANDS is, it is the collection of the digital comics of the TV series wherein two high-profile gay guys do a Ross & Rachel and get accidentally married in Vegas. Fearing that a “quickie” divorce will harm the campaign for marriage equality they decide to give it a go, producing, in TV parlance, hilarious results. The comics are not part of the series; they stand alone as a set of very silly short stories which start when the cast are drawn into the pages of an enchanted comicbook filled with one-off adventures, each (possibly) more zany than the last. A quote on the cover proclaims the book to be a “…romp through genre.” And at this point you are possibly poised to do a facepalm because it sounds like a classic TV/Cinema abuse of the medium, right?

No! Luckily it is 2013 and people are finally waking up to the fact that comics are a medium not a genre and that they can be used to, you know, tell stories and have fun and stuff. The quote I mentioned above is from Neil Gaiman (woot!) and the “genre” he mentions is, of course, not comics: it’s all the different genres of fiction, cinema, TV, comics and fairy tale through which the writers gleefully “romp”. So what you get here is six very silly short stories told in deliberately over-the-top fashion, each one a pastiche. As our newlyweds battle through scenarios in (among other places) space, Riverdale High and some kind of James Bond / Indiana Jones / Miami Vice world, we wonder, will they learn about one another or will they be doomed to drift forever, Dungeons & Dragons cartoon stylee?

Jane Espenson wrote some of my favourite episodes of BUFFY and I think you can see her touch quite clearly here, yay! The art is cool too, there are a few different styles for the different stories, none of which would look out of place in a regular comic series; an absolute world away from the “will this do?” output of TV side-projects gone by. The humour isn’t always spot-on but I did chuckle out loud in quite a few places. So it’s not a book which will change your life but it will give you a laugh; a perfectly silly, gigglesome book to cheer you up on the bus to work. Plus boy-on-boy kisses!!


Buy Husbands h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Iron Man vol 1: Believe h/c (£18-99, Marvel) byKieronGillen & GregLand. 

“Have you ever believed in something? I’ve always had trouble.
“When my parents tried to tell me about Santa Claus, I just thought ‘Gee – that guy’s business model has got to be unsustainable.
“And God? Oh, me and gods. I mean, I’ve met a few and I still don’t believe in them.
“Side-stepping precise definition of belief: tedious evidence, empiricism, pedantry and so on and so boring… There’s only two things I ever managed to believe in. Firstly, myself. And even then only about 50% of the time. Secondly, they future. That there would be one, and we’d make it.
“By default, optimists make the world, because pessimists never even try. I’ve believed that for as long as I’ve been me. No matter what.
“And in my life, there’s been a lot of ‘what’.” 

Cue a lot of ‘what’.

Note-perfect prelude, there, to this brand-new series of high-tech hit, hit harder and runs, in which Gillen immediately returns to Warren Ellis’ definitive IRON MAN: EXTREMIS as Tony Stark discovers the enhancile-enabling technology has fallen into the wrong hands. Many wrong hands. For one, it appears to have fallen into a somewhat rejuvenated Warren Ellis’, for there the future is space exploration, and the aspiration proves inspirational.

Falling back a bit, not every hand it falls into is out-and-out evil (I would never call Ellis evil, though he’s delighted when you do); for what you have to remember is that Extremis rewrites the body’s operating system and not all bodies operate equally. That’s how people die.

So much thought has gone into even the most miniscule moments here, and Gillen has furnished Tony Stark’s interior monologue / voice-over with all the charm, wit, intelligence and determination with which such a successful entrepreneur and promiscuous reprobate must so self-evidently be blessed.

Brilliantly, he has also played to artist Greg Land’s notorious reputation – scurrilously propagated – for using soft-porn as photo-reference material, by including all manner of flirtatious encounters with women who, in Greg Land’s hands, are indeed drop-dead gorgeous, then undercutting the expectations of the blonde-joke brigade by giving the girls more intelligence than most credit them for.

Meanwhile, of course, Pepper Potts, long-suffering-secretary-turned-CEO (and Tony Stark’s oft-ignored Jiminy Cricket) fumes. But she does so with the same empowering arched eyebrow which used to belong to Mrs Arbogast and equally pithy, observational bons mots:

“Tony… Your sober is drunker than most people’s drunk.”

Hello, my name’s Stephen and I am… the exception.


Buy Iron Man vol 1: Believe h/c and read the Page 45 review here

Iron Man: Extremis s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by Warren Ellis & Adi Granov.

Absolutely first-rate – so well written that it bored the pants off a lot of Marvel readers as a series. They didn’t like what they saw as its verbosity, but which I enjoyed as a fierce intelligence really bearing down on its subject matter: technology, its funding, its application, and the future. And isn’t that what a book starring a guy in the most advanced technology on the planet should be about? Technology! What took them so long?!

Tony Stark has built for himself one of the richest and most successful technology corporations in the world, but in order to do so – in order to kick-start the company and finance future ideas with medical applications and mass-market commercial uses – he developed military weapons. During a critical interview (with John Pilger – it’s definitely the real-life John Pilger!), we flash back to see Stark critically wounded out in Afghanistan by one of his own landmines. With less than a week to live – with shrapnel digging further and further into his heart – he is forced by his captors to develop arms for them, but instead desperately sets about constructing an armour which can serve the dual purpose of saving his life and killing his captors.

Ellis makes the Iron Man armour the very centre of Tony’s inner struggle, as well as the wider debate about technology and its deployment for military and medical purposes. It’s a debate which continues right into the action when the Extremis Project is stolen by a small cell of anti-establishment militiamen heading to Washington DC to cause as much damage as possible. What is the Extremis Project…?

“It’s a bio-electronic package, fitted into a few billion graphic nanotubes and suspended in a carrier fluid. A magic bullet, like the original Super-Soldier Serum — all in a single injection. It hacks the body’s repair centre — the part of the brain that keeps a complete blueprint of the human body. When we’re injured, we refer to that area of the brain in order to heal properly. Extremis rewrites the repair centre. In the first stage, the body essentially becomes an open wound. The normal human blueprint is being replaced with the Extremis blueprint, you see? The brain is being told that the body is wrong. Extremis Protocol dictates that the subject be put on life support and intravenously fed nutrients at this point. For the next two or three days, the subject remains unconscious within a cocoon of scabs. It’s pretty gross, as you can imagine. Extremis uses the nutrients and body mass to build new organs. Better ones. We loaded in everything we could think of. The hypothetical we were given was to build a three-man team would could take Fallujah on their own.” 

And now it’s been injected into a domestic terrorist who has murder in mind, and the body with which to commit it. Can Stark’s exterior armour keep up with this madman’s inbuilt capabilities, or is it time for the ultimate upgrade?

This is overwhelmingly a boy’s book. I don’t mean it’s a book for children (please, no, there are exploding heads!), and I don’t mean that no women will necessarily enjoy it – that’d be enormously sexist of me. But it really is a book for boys who like toys – new tech gadgets like ipods and cell phones and PS3s and shiny, flying armour that can rip a car in two (oh, god, how I want some! 

The art is shiny too. I still can’t find a better comparison than TRIGAN EMPIRE, and it’ll take very good care of you in the all-out action sequences, most of which are full-page or horizontal, slipped in cleverly between the vertical conversation pieces.


Buy Iron Man: Extremis s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Fantastic Four vol 1: New Departure, New Arrivals s/c (£12-99, Marvel) by Matt Fraction & Mark Bagley, Michael Allred.

Communication is hardly this family’s strong suit, is it? Someone’s always failing to speak up, failing to listen and – frankly – failing to tell the truth.

Also, Reed and Sue: worst parents ever! So far for Franklin they’ve hired a nanny whom they knew was a witch, replaced her with a fleet of steel automatons and even lobotomised the poor boy. By the looks of this opening salvo they are about to do something else incredibly stupid… after failing to listen to Franklin’s fears, failing to speak up about them (Sue) and failing to tell the truth! Here’s Reed:

“Journal entry. Timestamp. Nth encryption on closing, please.
“There’s something very wrong with me. The unstable molecules that have created my elastic physiognomy seem to have reached some point of cellular entropy. They’re breaking apart – I’m breaking apart. At a molecular level. My concern is that the others are affected too – or will be very soon. My powers are dying, and they’re taking me with them.”

Six pages later: “Susan. I’m fine. Trust me.”

Instead Reed has declared a year-long, transdimensional family field trip, ostensibly as education. In truth he is secretly attempting to find a cure for his disease – without actually telling anyone.

It’s funny, though. Not that bit, but Johnny Storm surpassing his own stupendous record for vacuous egomania. Here he is with girlfriend Darla, making up for his errant ways with a private candlelit dinner in the Negative Zone (while war rages all around them) and talking at her about cars and bikes and fame and… oh, Johnny!

“Baby, this is me now. Johnny Storm, not the Human Torch or the – Darla, I brought you all the way out here to the Negative Zone tonight so I could tell you that I… see, Darla, I don’t just like you, I…”

He slips out a tiny jewellery box, the size of a ring…


… and opens it.


It’s his mobile phone number. *sigh*

However, in an unexpected move, Marvel has packaged this new series of FANTASTIC FOUR #1-3 together with its sister title FF #1-3. Equally unexpectedly, it works – and does so seamlessly. Here the game gets goofier still.

“Our compass is curiosity. Our destination is the infinite.” 

Goodness, that sounds profound. And it is! This is the Future Foundation we’re talking about, set up by Reed Richards to educate and galvanise the next fledgling generation of precocious science prodigies regardless of race, gender, species, and so set course for the future.

But, oh, how the children steal the show! The very first page is a scream, young Valeria Richards eloquently extolling the lofty ideals and far-sighted goals of the Future Foundation to their novice leader while older brother Franklin pulls all manner of faces behind her back like the sugar-buzz delinquent he is. No one but Allred could have done that full justice. Long have I loved him but that, for me, is his best comic page yet! In fact, all of his pages are full of mad, Ditko-esque postures and ginormous Jack Kirby machines.

Speaking of children and delinquents, there is another classic Johnny Storm sequence during which – after each other member of the family has gone about dutifully, solemnly and responsibly attempting to recruit replacements while the family takes leave – he wakes up in bed with his girlfriend, cannot even remember what is expected of him and so consults his mobile-phone reminders:

“Oh. ‘Ask somebody about the thing.’ That’s no help.”

That’s the thing on your to-do list, Johnny. The thing you’re supposed to ask – oh, why do I even bother?

“Um. Do you like The Thing? Y’know – Ben Grim? Big, dumb orange rock guy, talks like an old-timey movie?”
“Yeah, sure, he’s alright I guess.”
“But not as much as the Human Torch, right?”
“What? No, of course not.”
“Cool. I have asked somebody about The Thing. Now let’s get breakfas

Absolutely delightful, and “delightful” isn’t a word you regularly associate with a superhero comic. You’d type “spectacular” or “gut-wrenching” or “jaw-dropping” or even “same old corporate crap” if you had a mind to. This is genuinely delightful in the same way you’d talk about Simone Lia’s FLUFFY.

So here are the new Fantastic Four: Ant-Man, Darla, She-Hulk and the magisterial Medusa, Queen of The Inhumans, who’s perplexed that nobody’s bowing. Also, while everyone else scoffs breakfast downstairs, she’s still sprawled in bed in her nightie, ringing for room service with a hand-held bell.

“Erm. Hello…?”


Buy Fantastic Four vol 1: New Departure, New Arrivals s/c and read the Page 45 review here

Thanos Rising #1 (of 5) (£2-99, Marvel) by Jason Aaron & Simone Bianchi…

Surely not spoiling anything by now to mention that Thanos is going to be the villain in the next Avengers film, hence yet another series about him. This time, we have his origin story told right from his birth. He wasn’t a bad chap growing up, quite a mild-mannered individual in fact, before a certain malign influence began to exert itself over him.

Hmm, I don’t know whether this series is really necessary, frankly. Thanos is one of the classic Marvel villains precisely because he is a one-dimensional grade ‘A’ mentalist capable of the most vile and cunning deeds. He is just quite simply evil incarnate, serving his mistress Death, when he’s not trying to turn the tables on her à la INFINITY GAUNTLET.

To learn, therefore, he was a bit of a bookworm milksop is, well, a bit disappointing. Without igniting a nature versus nurture debate, surely some supervillains are just born / created / winked into existence bad? Nutjob is as nutjob does.* So I just couldn’t get myself particularly bothered by the story, so far at least, though I am mildly intrigued to learn who it is that is trying to send him round the behavioural bend. I am presuming it is Death, or an avatar thereof, but maybe not. Confusingly it looks like a young Gamora, though I am pretty sure it is not. Stridently different art from Simone Bianchi, who illustrated Warren Ellis’ brilliant ASTONISHING X-MEN: GHOST BOX, of which rather surprisingly we have, at the time of typing, an unplundered hardcover left in our half-price sale. Follow the link and grab the swag!


*Editor’s note: “Nutjob” is precisely how Jonathan refers to his two-year-old daughter. Also: he recently taught her to say “No way!” Oh, the evil which will ensue… 

Buy Thanos Rising #1 and read the Page 45 review here

DC Universe By Alan Moore (£18-99, DC) by Alan Moore & various.

Alert! A new edition with a slight change in title, this no longer includes KILLING JOKE (now available as a gloriously recoloured hardcover) but does still contain SUPERMAN: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW. Space has been filled instead with some Wildstorm gubbins from WILD WORLDS written while Alan’s brain was on vacation.

Here’s our Mark on the rest of the original edition:

“A baker’s dozen of stories from ’85 to ’87. Only a short period but it feels like a ‘best of…’ of someone else’s work. About half of this I’ve never seen before as they came out when Moore was still rising up through the ranks and once you’d heard about them, they were pretty unobtainable. His GREEN LANTERN CORPS were always fun. Even now, if you give him the possibility of an alien race, he’ll come up with an idea so obvious that you wonder why it took so long to be voiced. As with all of his writing, connections are shown. So, a new Green Lantern is needed in a far flung sector and a missionary is sent out. The problem starts when she realises that it’s a light-free planet and all the inhabitants are blind. How do you explain what a lantern is? One of the other GLC stories has Kevin O’Neill art and got into trouble with the Comics Code Authority because of the foul, dripping artwork which makes you realise how lucky we were to have him on [2000 AD’s] NEMESIS in the UK. As a nostalgic superhero fix, it’s the tops. You get Batman, Superman, Swamp Thing and some very nice Dave Gibbons artwork.”



Buy DC Universe By Alan Moore and read the Page 45 review here

Arrived, Online & Ready To Buy

Reviews already online if they’re new formats of previous books. Otherwise the most interesting will come under the microscope next week, while the rest will remain with their Diamond previews acting in lieu of reviews.

Punk Rock Jesus (£12-99, Vertigo) by Sean Murphy

Batman: Detective Comics vol 2: Scare Tactics h/c (£22-50, DC) by Tony S. Daniel

Judge Dredd vol 1 (£14-99, IDW) by Duane Swierczynski & Nelson Daniel

Point Of Impact (£10-99, Image) by Jay Faerber & Koray Kuranel

Relish – My Life In The Kitchen s/c (£13-50, FirstSecond) by Lucy Knisley

Swamp Thing vol 2: Family Tree s/c (£10-99, DC) by Scott Snyder & Yanick Paquette

World’s Finest vol 1: Lost Daughters s/c (£10-99, DC) by Paul Levitz & George Perez

Marvel Universe: Iron Man Digest (£7-50, Marvel) by Various

Essential Iron Man vol 5 (£14-99, Marvel) by Various

Oz: Road To Oz h/c (£18-99, Marvel) by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young

Captain America vol 3 s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Ed Brubaker & Patrick Zircher

Uncanny X-Force vol 6: Final Execution Book 1 s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Rick Remender & Mike Mckone

X-Men: Reckless Abandonment s/c (£14-99, Marvel) by Brian Wood, Seth Peck & David Lopez, others

Wolverine: Covenant s/c (£10-99, Marvel) by Cullen Bunn & Paul Pelletier

Unico s/c (£25-99, DMP) by Osamu Tezuka

Hot Girls, Cold Feet (£8-99, Abstract) by Terry Moore

Slaine vol 8: The Grail War (£17-99, Rebellion) by Pat Mills & Steve Tappin, Nick Percival, Massimo Belardinelli


Surprise Announcement!

We were certainly taken by surprise!

After ten years working with Tom, Tuesday proved to be his last day here. I’d have given you all a big one-month drum roll, but we only found out on Saturday!

Tom, as you probably know, is training to become a chef and it was clear from week one that he would excel. Now he’s been headhunted full time for a new restaurant in Beeston starting on Saturday, so how could he turn them down?

 Tom was single-handedly responsible for Page 45’s manga sales success, steering our selections in the direction of quality rather than the unsellable dross that began to flood the market when Tokyopop’s arrogance persuaded them that any old dross would do. It didn’t do, and it killed them, whereas Tom knew exactly what he was doing.

 Tom was also responsible for a couple of killer window pieces and the man who made sure – along with Dominique – that you’d need Semtex to open your damage-proof packages through the mail.

Here’s an interview from 2009 with myself, Tom and Jonathan in which Tom tells how he joined Page 45 and mocks me mercilessly.

There will be news of our recalibration shortly.

In the meantime, THIS. THIS! THIS! THIS!

Genius one-page comic with beautiful colouring, cleverly using the mechanics of the medium to turn adversity to advantage. “Believe In Yourself” by David Jumble.

 – Stephen

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.