Top comic titles this week (released 25.3.2009)

Top titles for the week are Crossed #4 and Unknown Soldier #6;

Crossed #4 overcame last issues uninvolving character focussed moral dillemas and instead concentrated on good old fear and terror. It works a treat. Enough to give any comic reader bad dreams, this title is the ultimate in perverse horror and sheer terror – ‘Crossed’ has the fear in spades.

Unknown Soldier #6
continues the quality of this title, with its own very real take on the horror of violence, the tyranny of man and the haunting, disturbing truth about child soldiers and child abduction in Africa. Absolutley essential comic, and my title of the week.

The Walking Dead #62 solicitation (2009)

oooooh weeeeee. New solicitation for The Walking Dead!


It all starts here, the most explosive story-arc in WALKING DEAD history. Who lives? Who dies? Watch as our characters discover just how dangerous the Road To Washington actually is.


Review – Daredevil #117 (2009)

A slow burner of an issue, but the return of the Kingpin to New York, in an underground bar called Josie’s, was priceless. You could have heard a pin drop in there. The art was amazing (as usual), whether it was portraying tension in a dimly lit bar or the confusion and stealth of an attack of The Hand ninjas in the half light with snow swirling around them, Lark and Gaudiano nailed it. There was plenty of focus on Matt Murdock and his travails, not least over the custody of his child and his relationship with Dakota, which slowed the pace down a little in the middle of the book. However, the real meat of the issue was near the end – it was a generally well paced issue, leading up to this climatic moment – when Daredevil and Kingpin call a truce, and more than that, forge an alliance.

Verdict – It took a while to get there, but this was a dark and moody as Daredevil gets. The possibilities of a Kingpin and Daredevil team-up in Hells Kitchen are tantalising. Ed Brubaker will deliver, and that is something to really anticipate. ‘Return of the King’ promises to be special, and this issue was really all about setting the scene, putting the pieces in place. A storm is brewing……

Dardevil ~117 is out now, published by Marvel.

Review – Unknown Soldier #6 (2009)

Moses fights fire with fire and extracts a brutal revenge

Following on from last issues impending confrontation with the LRA, issue 6 of the ‘Unknown Soldier’ does not hold back, as Moses seeks out the LRA lieutenant, Ilakut, ‘the lieutenant of children, as Moses scornfully describes him. When Moses catches up with Ilakut, it is a bloody and desperate fight, but the outcome is never in doubt. Whatever Moses has become, it is in the guise of the ‘Unknown Soldier’, and that is a terrifying, even terrible prospect. The ‘Unknown Soldier’ is an efficient and brutal killer, his sole purpose is seemingly to take down the Lords Resistance Army for their heinous crimes, particularly the abduction of children for forced conscription into the LRA. Throw into the mix the continuing presence of Agent Howl, and a snooping journalist, and the layers of intrigue mount up on top of the visceral action. There are some horrific and heart-rending scenes as the LRA lay waste to a village. The art does not hold back from showing the horror of war but does not glorify it or in any way celebrate it (a refreshing change, and in this context entirely appropriate). By the end of the issue Moses is a man with the scent of blood in his nostrils and the single minded clarity of a man with a clear purpose. We shall how this develops over the next few issues. The ‘Unknown Soldier’ is truly a title to savour, and for the uninititated, one to watch out for.

Joshua Dysart’s ‘Unknown Soldier’ continues to provide an intelligent, insightful and thrilling antidote to the mainstream. This book deserves a wide audience. It is a thriller and a lesson in Western World / African politics and the dreadful wars fought within that continent. Dysart is adept at making this title a taut action thriller while delivering valuable information on what has been going on in Uganda and the DRC over the last 20 years. The fact that he devotes a page of written text at the back of the book to fill in the gaps and give a fuller perspective on what you are reading only underlines the commitment he gives to this endeavour.

I have praised this title before, and I shall continue to do so. This is an important comic book, but more than that, it is an entertaining and informative comic book. It makes you think, it makes you feel. There can surely be no further purpose for a comic book than to achieve those objectives?

Unknown Soldier #6 is out now from Vertigo Comics.

Review – Crossed #4 (2009)

They’re behind you!!!

Very good installment of this ultimate sex/horror apocalypse. The fear is very real. The ‘crossed’ are finding new ways to get sick and twisted (these are not ‘zombies’ – these are monsters and savages, at the mercy of their bloodlust and sexual urges) and the survivors continue to try and avoid the crossed and reach relative safety. There is a very tense scene towards the end of ths issue involving a bridge, and it is during this scene that you understand again what the sick thrill of this book is – it is the fear. The fear of the crossed turning up, chasing you, catching you…it doesn’t bare thinking about (you don’t have to, because Ennis and Burrows spell it out enough throughout the issues so far).

This is horror at its most distilled. Pure fear, pure horror. I have been critical of the book in the past, but when it really hits it’s stride there is no other comic book out there that generates this sort of tension, fear and suspense – or the complete lack of hope (though to be fair, Ennis manages to add some real humanity into this issue, involving food, and it is jarring as it is so opposite to all the blackness swirling throughout the book).

It may not be to everyones taste, but ‘Crossed’ is one of the most distinctive titles out there at the moment, pushing and testing the boundaries of what is acceptable fare for comic books. It needs to be respected at the very least, but there is also a very keen understanding of horror running throughout.
A highlight of the week.