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Quick Draw : A Short Reviews column

29 Nov

– by Stewart Loud

The Authority Book 3: Earth Inferno And Other Stories.(Collects #17-20, 2000 annual and Summer Special)

Writers: Mark Miller , Joe Casey ,Paul Jenkins ,Warren Ellis
Art: Chris Weston, Frank Quietely, Cully Hamme, Georges Jeanty

I only recently started reading this outstanding series after a friend recommended it to me and I can’t believe I’d overlooked such a gem for so long.This book continues its trend of the refreshingly original group of heroes that make up the Authority facing truly world shattering threats that always end up resulting in vast amounts of innocent civilians being wiped out in densely populated areas. The dialogue is witty and interesting, the fights are tense, the characters are engaging and the detailed artwork continues to do an effective job of illustrating the impressive scale of the disasters.
Only misses out on a higher score due to the last third of the book being taken up by an annual and a summer special containing a few simple filler stories that while being worth a read, don’t compare to the overall standard of the series so far.

SCORE 8/10


The Incredible Hercules: Assault On New Olympus.(Collects Incredible Hercules #138-141)

Writers: Greg Pak , Fred Van Lente
 Art: Rodney Buchemi

Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Zues (who has been reverted to a small child) and Herc’s sister Athena team up with The Avengers to take on the evil Hera and her army of Amazons, Titans and Gods at their New York headquarters to stop her from destroying the universe with her new secret weapon, Continuum! If this sounds stupid to you then you should probably avoid it. If not then give it a go. Lots of fun to read, plenty of humour, plenty of smiting and it gets surprisingly serious at the end.
Features Spiderman, Wolverine, Quick Silver, US Agent, Wasp (Hank Pym) and Spider Woman.

SCORE 7/10


Punisher Max: Tiny Ugly World(One Shot)

Writer: David Lapham
Art: Dalibor Talajic

Hot on the heels of the breathtakingly pointless Happy Ending and Hot Rods Of Death Punisher Max one shots comes a short story about a man who keeps his pickled penis in a jar after his mother cut it off as penance for the sexual relationship they had together when he was an adolescent. Frank himself only makes 2 brief appearances in this dreadful story that feels like it was written by a 14 year old who’d just read his first Garth Ennis comic. Seriously, sometimes it shames me to be a Punisher fan. I spend a great deal of time trying to convince people that comics are an intelligent and interesting form of story telling media, every bit as valid as books and films. This comic is not one of the examples I would use to convince them.


SCORE 3/10


Judge Dredd: Total War(Collects stories originally printed in 2000ad progs 1392-1399 and 1408-1422)

Writer: John Wagner
Art: Colin Macnei, Henry Flint,  Jason Bashill

Been a long time since I read Judge Dredd and after reading this book I’m gonna be reading a lot more! In this story the judges of Mega City One (a vast sprawling city of the future that occupies a large part of the east coast of America) face an ultimatum from the terrorist group Total War: either all the Judges leave the city and restore democracy and trial by jury or they nuke the city one block at a time until their demands are met. You won’t believe some of the things the Judges do as part of their standard operating procedure when trying to bring the terrorists to justice and and all the art is laid out in such a cinematic way you can imagine a lot of the scenes as something from a really well directed movie (the bit where the judges are looking through loads of CCTV footage to track a suspect especially).

The infringement of peoples civil liberties has never looked so cool.

SCORE 8/10


Halo graphic novel(collection of 4 short stories)

Writers: Lee Hammock, Jay Faerber, Brett Lewis

Art: Simon Bisley,Ed LeeAndrew Robinson,Tsutomi Nihiei,Moebius

4 short stories that attempt to add a bit more depth and history to the Halo franchise. Worth a read if you’re into the games but there’s not much here for you if you’re not. While the artwork is very good throughout, a lot of it’s confusing to look at making it difficult to tell what’s going on (I’m a big Simon Bisley fan but this isn’t his best work) and although the stories are interesting they’re not all told that well so after I bought this book hoping to answer a few questions about the Halo universe it just raised a bunch more.
Nice art gallery in the back though.

SCORE 6/10


Gears Of War graphic novel(Collects Hollow parts 1-6 and One Day)

Writer: Joshua Ortega
Art: Liam Sharp, Federico Dallocchio

Again, If like me you loved the Gears of war games then this is worth a look. The Character art and dialogue is true to the source material and it always feels like these are the games characters that you’re reading about. I was hoping that this book would explain a bit about the history of the conflict and E-day but that barely gets a mention. The story is set between the first and second game and follows Delta squad on a mission to investigate some “strange seismic activity”. Every bit as violent as the game with plenty of gun fights but I got the feeling that the writer had wanted to add a tactical edge to the action that the artist couldn’t be bothered to illustrate.
“Flank ’em Dom!” commands Marcus.
“On it!” shouts Dom as they both run at the enemy side by side, shooting from exactly the same direction.
I’m no military tactician but even I can tell you that’s not how you flank someone you pair of douche bags.

SCORE 6/10