Last year in January we had the first Gotrek & Felix novel after a gap of several long years. The series started off as short stories by William King that were eventually collected into a novel and became a trilogy, then a double trilogy and so on. Eventually, when William King left, Nathan Long was brought in and he enjoyed a good long run as well. But then the series lapsed and all we had for a while were more short stories and even some novellas, although they were primarily written by a new incoming group of authors. It was good stuff. But what we really needed was a full novel, and that’s what Josh Reynolds’ Road of Skulls did.
The new Gotrek & Felix novels, whether those written by Josh Reynolds or David Guymer, are set out of continuity, which means that they are not part of the main series and are set somewhere in between those adventures already published. Road of Skulls, the first in his new set of novels, was an absolute fantastic read and reminded me of why I loved the series in the first place. And now we have the third novel, The Serpent Queen, and it is every bit as good. It features some more out-of-continuity adventures but sets them in the Southlands, in the homelands of the Lizardmen and we see a conflict between Tomb Kings and Vampires. Pretty superb right out of the gate.
In contrast to the previous week, I didn’t get to read as many comics as I wanted to because my iPad wasn’t working properly and I had to resort to reading comics on my computer, which didn’t work out so well. Especially when I have to travel, and I was rather counting on getting through at least 3-4 more comics.
Still, I did manage to read a fair few, and I am now done with my read-through of Forever Evil: Blight which proved to be a very interesting event indeed, far better than the main event or two of the tie-ins ARGUS and Arkham War and just on par with Rogues Rebellion. The ending was definitely unexpected and awesome too, I think, so that is something there. No other graphic novels, which is a shame, but since I’m landlocked for the next two weeks, I’m hoping to move through a few, so we shall see.
I started reading the Angel & Faith comics back in 2012, thanks to advance reading copies from NetGalley. I read the first two volumes, but then dropped off for almost a year and a half. Now with Buffy the Vampire Slayer also in its tenth season and thus beginning a new phase in the series, I thought it’d be time to get back on track with Angel & Faith as well. And a while back I went and bought a number of the comics, to catch up. Still, with a new season now starting, being current is going to be very fun and rewarding I hope.
The new season sees Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs moving off to Buffy while Victor Gischler comes on board as writer and Will Conrad is brought in as the penciller. Being used to the previous team’s work, the adjustment is a bit rough in all aspects, since they captured the mood and atmosphere of the original series really well, but the new team is no slouch either and it keeps you entertained throughout. And the new issue really makes me want to go back and get caught up with Season 9.
This was a pretty incredible week, I must say. In addition to all the usual new releases I ended up reading, I also began my re-read/catch-up of DC’s Forever Evil: Blight event. Since I wasn’t reading the Constantine and Pandora titles for this event, I ended up missing out on a fair bit of story, and this catch-up is intended to fix that. Consequently, I read more than I usually do, except when I manage to read trades, if you count it like that. Still, the overall experience was pretty incredible, so there is that.
Thankfully, most of the comics I read this week were excellent, as evidenced by the fact that I picked a top 7 instead of a top 6 this time, on account of all that I read. If you read any of these, let me know!
In my reviews of the firs two volumes of Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs’ Angel & Faith series, I mentioned how much I used to love Buffy back in the mid-00s. It took me a while to get warmed up to the show when I started watching it in college (after having caught an episode here and there in high school), but when I did, I was totally into it. I could watch 3-4 episodes of the show back-to-back without taking a break. Those weekend nights were long in those days. I haven’t kept up with the comics series that have followed the show since it went off-air, partly because I find the sheer number of them to be intimidating.
But, with the first issue of the new season out, I think that it is time for a change, and what a change it is. There have been some pretty big events in the Buffy-verse since I was last in touch with it, especially after I read those two Angel & Faith volumes in 2012, but I have to say that the way Christos Gage wrote this issue, I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything. He put me right at home with the characters, and Rebekah Isaacs’ art was just superb all the way.
Thankfully, this past week was one of recovery. There were a lot of comics to get through and while I only got through about sixty percent or so f the ones that I wanted to, which is pretty much on par with me, I’m quite happy since I also managed to review most of them. The next two weeks are all going to be about getting back on track, before I leave for another 2 week trip to India and then things are going to head downwards unfortunately.
But still, some good comics this week. Pretty much all of the ones I read, I enjoyed, minus one or two here and there. Which is nice. I’m still pretty behind on the whole All-New Marvel Now thing because Marvel is putting out too many new #1s and I just can’t keep up. So that’s a struggle too. Although, surprisingly enough, I read more Marvel this past week than I did DC, largely because I’m behind on a few DC series at this point, and need to significantly catch-up.
Another month, and another issue of Batgirl! All is right with the world. Well, our world yes. Barbara’s world, not so much, since there is a crazy delusional guy out on the streets, trying to bring down the Bat family because he believes that the city’s protectors are its oppressors, vampires in disguise. Fun right? It is indeed fun for the new villain on the block, Silver, but Barbara is having a tough time of it. But like I said in the review for the previous issue, she does have an ally to help things through, so it is not as dire as it may seem.
In the previous issue we got introduced to the new villain, saw Barbara partner up with an old friend, make a tense alliance with an old enemy, and then go out in Gotham to do the right thing and bring back a kidnapped girl who happens to be mute as well. It is a bit of an emotional story and in the new issue Gail Simone takes things further and delivers two pretty big twists to the story towards the end that really shock and excite. And then there’s the wonderful art by the Fernando Pasarin/Jonathan Glapion duo, who continue to turn out one of the most beautiful books from DC.
A stable week for a change and this meant that I was able to read some more comics this time. Didn’t get through quite as many as I wanted to, and I certainly didn’t get around to reviewing as many as I wanted to, but that’s fine really. Gotta take a bit of an occasional lighter load I think. Most of the Marvel books I read this week weren’t all that impressive (as the top picks at the end will show), but DC was better. And Vertigo’s newest series looks to be damn good too, can’t wait to check out the second issue of that next month.
And I did manage to begin my Flash New 52 read-through finally with volume 1 last night, so that’s something there. Planning to read a lot of graphic novels this year, mostly in terms of catching up with series I’ve missed out on, so we shall see how it all pans out.
I’m a pretty big fan of the Underworld franchise. The first movie was pretty good, and while the subsequent two didn’t quite hit the same mark, I still love how much they all expanded on the lore first hinted at in Underworld. Just a couple years ago, the fourth movie in the franchise came out, and for my money’s worth, it was pretty damn good. I saw it in 3D, and loved almost everything about it. I’ve seen it at least twice since then, and it has definitely held up to repeated viewings, and in a good way too.
Reposting all this reviews from 24FPS/Just Beyond Infinity to my own blog and has kind of made me want to watch all these movies again, the good ones mind you, and at the forefront, right at the top of the list, is Underworld: Awakening, which continues the tale of Selene, in a world changed utterly. Anyways, here’s my review.
Spinning out of the Wanted arc and then the Gothtopia tie-in last month, the new issue of Batgirl goes in a surprisingly different place as Gail Simone explores the thematic links between Gotham’s Bat-family and vampires of urban myths. As I keep saying, Gail Simone has made this title one of DC’s relative heavyweights since the New 52 relaunch, and its definitely one of my highest anticipated titles of each month. The Wanted arc was pretty damn excellent, and now it looks like we might be getting some smaller stories again, like the Ventriloquist 2-issue arc that we had before Wanted.
Barbara has been through a ton of things recently, and she is still picking up the pieces of her life. Its not easy, especially not when a madman comes into town, seemingly intent on some kind of righteous vengeance, a complete and total loon as it were. But she does gain an ally, someone who hasn’t been around in the series for a while and her return is quite fun indeed since I love her as a character and Gail injects a lot of humour in her scenes. To top it all off, Fernando Pasarin and Jonathan Glapion’s art is excellent as ever, another plus.
I saw the first three Twilight films for the first time some time in the summer of 2011, having borrowed them from a cousin. I had no idea what they were about, other than the fact that the covers had Kristen Stewart on them, as well as Robert Pattinson, the dead guy from Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire. I saw them, and I thought they were decent enough. They could be boring at times, and even outright dreadful, but they were okay nonetheless.
I get why a lot of people hate on the books and the adapted movies, but its not really bothered me all that much. They came, I saw them, that’s it. That’s one of the reasons why I eventually saw the final two films as well. Plus I was interested to know how things would eventually fall out with the characters. I suppose that the best thing that can be said for the books, and the movies, is that they marked a sort of revival for vampire/werewolf fiction everywhere. That’s fine with me.
Anyways, here’s a review of the fourth film in the series, which I saw at the theater, thanks to my curiosity.
I remember watching the Gary Oldman and Keanu Reeves Dracula movie with the former in the titular role and really enjoying it. It was a bit hard to follow at times, but overall I enjoyed it for sure. That was almost a decade ago and ever since I’ve enjoyed reading various types of vampire fiction. My fascination with the genre started with Buffy and Angel however, and after all these years, I’ve seen and read a lot of different stuff and enjoyed most of it. Novels such as Matt Forbeck’s Carpathia are really fun and shows like True Blood are the same. I’d credit the latter for really invigorating my interest in watching vampire shows since it got me to watch Vampire Diaries, although I didn’t like the show that much and gave up in the middle of the first season.
And now we have NBC’s Dracula which stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the titular role and is very much a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula. Having seen the first three episodes of the show by now, I have to say that while the series often feels cliched and clumsy, it does have some good moments and that I find the characters to be quite fascinating. And the motivation behind Dracula doing what he does is also quite interesting although it seems somewhat shoehorned in. My verdict though, at this early point, is that this is a decent show.