Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Pride Facebook Group!/group.php?gid=158805490809339

Follow the link to join the Facebook group for my upcoming comic project, The Pride.

Have you ever been sick of being misrepresented? Of having no one like you to look up to? Have you ever wanted to change everything?

Well, FabMan has. In a world populated by superpowers, the superhero is common. Sadly for FabMan (Tomorrow’s Fabulous Man, Today), he feels a deep schism in the representation of his community, his own heroic exploits being presented as just big jokes in the news.

Wanting to fight for change, he forms PRIDE, the world’s premier LGBT supergroup. Not a gay superteam, just a team where most members are LGBT. Not exactly receiving the desired response, the group faces opposition from the confrontational Justice Division, more aggressive misrepresentation by the media and are then taken advantage of in the plans of the nefarious Reverend. After a serious trial by fire, the team find themselves the only super team in the world capable of stopping The Reverend’s diabolical plot for world domination.

Join FabMan, Wolf, Sapphire, Frost, Twink, Bear, Angel and White Trash on their mission to help people and improve LGBT representation in the process.

The Pride is a six issue comic book project from writer Joe Glass and artist Gavin Mitchell.

Looking for a publisher at this time.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Weekly Comics Pile 07/10/2010

S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 - Jonathan Hickman (w), Dustin Weaver (a)

Tweeview:- "S.H.I.E.L.D4: still not sure how accessible this is. It's genius, and often leaves me needing multiple readings. Art is lovely "

S.H.I.E.L.D. is a very interesting series.

It's incredibly that it's a Marvel book to be honest; it's deeply esoteric, complex and not in a years of continuity way, but rather in a genuinely thought provoking and mind-boggling way.

In fact, if you're an average comic fan with no background knowledge of Mystery Schools and esoteric thought, this seems to me really hard to get into.

Myself, I know a bit about the ideas that make up the groundwork of this series. And I'm a massive fan of the book The Secret History by Jonathan Black, so that has helped me understand a lot in this series.

It's genius, essentially working like a mystery school initiation for the reader as much as the characters. It's s deeply thought out that each issue requires multiple readings (as this one will) and then multiple readings of the whole series to date!

However, at this point, it's hard to see where it's going. It's brilliant, but I fear that it could start alienating the average comics reader. Also, it would be nice to see how the events in this book connect with the Marvel Universe as a whole, especially with the heroes we already know.

The art from Weaver is as ever absolutely gorgeous and fitting for the story. It grounds it and gives it excellent pace, whilst still providing interesting and new panel layouts, playing with the art form as much as Hickman plays with the story form.

The back-up material is still some of the most complex, interesting and sometimes frustrating part of the book. It occasionally feels like there's a part you're missing, and for me this issues left me feeling that way. But as I've mentioned, multiple readings required, maybe I'll get it next time.

I'm certainly not going to leave this book, and I hope that no one actually does...but I fear it's a tight rope being walked on a windy day at times.

Chaos War #1 - Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak (w), Khoi Pham (a)

Tweeview:- "ChaosWar1: very old school styled story. Fun but feels light and a little fluffy. Good after Siege etc. Pham's art rough, but good"

This event book has a distinctly old school feel to it. Like maybe '80's era, like Secret Wars. It feels light and fluffy, not terribly serious or thought provoking, and certianly with no real 'OMG!' moment in it. And this is a great idea; a perfect pallet cleanser after the likes of Siege, Dark Reign, Secret Invasion etc.

In terms of modern events, it suffers a little from bouncing around a lot in the beginning, and the comedy feels a little hammy in places. Now, as a Herc book, that fits: the slapstick comedy style of The Incredible Hercules was part of what made it such an incredibly popular book. But as this is meant to be a line wide event, it kind of made the story lose it's gravitas for a moment.

However, towards the end things got back on track, and left us with an interesting state of affairs, and it'll be fun to see where it goes next.

Pham's art on the book is very rough around the edges, and in some scenes it really fits. It's also got a watercolour style to the colouring that really makes for pretty panels and pages. However, it lacks power in some panels. It does tell the story with ease though.

Uncanny X-Force #1 - Rick Remender (w), Jerome Opena (a)

Tweeview:- "UncannyXForce1: interesting set up, nice twists and characterisation. Violence handled better. Art is superb, every panel "

Totally my favourite book this week.

The plot is wonderfully twisty and jumpy in terms of the way it progresses, with interesting set up of the situation, dynamic characterisation and some interesting twists thrown in there.

Fantomex stole the show for me, as he so often does. In this issue he comes across as a man of intrigue but just as much coming in on the ground floor as we are.

I also fancy that Remender is handling the violence better on this book than the violence was done in the predecessor to Uncanny X-Force. In the old X-Force, it was kind of gratuitous and seemed to have deaths for deaths sake a lot of the time. However, here the violence is more subtly played, and it makes it all the cooler and more accessible for it.

I still find Deadpool terribly irritating though, but maybe I'm meant to. All the other characters do after all.

Opena's art is simply gorgeous! Every panel and page is a masterpiece, sumptuous with detail and feel and nuance. He makes the character's look and feel real, even when they're flying in a spaceship made from a puked up nervous system. Also, his Betsy Braddock/Psylocke is sexy without being cheesecake, and that's lovely to see in comics.

I've never seen any of Opena's art before, but frankly he's one to watch for me now.

I'm astounded to say that the overall package of this book now means that I'll be picking up an X-Force book, featuring Deadpool, regularly from now on.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 8 #37 - Joss Whedon (w), Georges Jeanty (a)

Tweeview:- "BuffySeason8issue37: story continues with great pace, and more twists an turns. Art is lovely and serves to story well"

The story continues at excellent pace here, allowing for some witty exposition, great character moments, and fantastic action, not to mention Whedon's regular compliments of unforeseen plot twists and fun.

The art is lovely, and tells the story with ease, and has some really dynamic moments throughout too, and some nice attention to detail.

There's not much else I can say about this's kind of a middle issue that's heavy on exposition but in a good, fun to read way. I definite buy for Buffy fans, but maybe not new readers, you guys may wanna wait for the trade.

Ultimate Thor #1 - Jonathan Hickman (w), Carlos Pacheco (a)

Tweeview:- "UltThor1:fantastic set up, multiple plot lines, interesting hints and parallels. Great choices. Best handling of Ult Thor is ages"

The wonderful thing about Hickman is that there is often a lot going on in his books, but it's always juggled so well and with such ease and class that it makes sense and is totally worth it. Sure, there will be moments when you're a little confused, but the payoff will rock your world.

Ultimate Thor has that going for it in spades. This issue is all set up, and yet there is so much going on in it that it feels genuinely intriguing. We've got three parallel plots running, each in a different time setting, following vastly different characters (although in two of these settings the character's are in fact the same (or are they?)). There's a couple of notes of intrigue too, such as why exactly do we never see Dr. Donald Blake's face? It's quite purposely obscured throughout the pages he's in.

Also, the story features a great choice of source materials that is rarely touched on in recent Thor stories; it focuses on the Nazi's genuine obsession with Nordic mythology. This obsession was genuine in real life, in fact, the swastika is actually an old symbol representing Thor. So Hickman bringing this up and playing it as big as he is, well, this is going to be interesting.

Carlos Pacheco delivers some fine art that moves the story along well, and in some pages and panels it's really beautiful. But I didn't feel blown away by it, like I have by some of his other work. I'm betting he'll blow me away on this book eventually, but this issue is soberly that there wasn't anything crazy brilliant art-wise, just well executed, clear and great art.

One last thing this book has going for it: this is simply the best that Ultimate Thor has been handled since Mark Millar handed the reins of The Ultimates over to Jeph Loeb. This Thor acts and speaks more like how he originally did, instead of feeling like a cheap knock-off of 616-Thor.

I simply cannot wait to read more.

It Gets Better

So, today I learned about the many messages of 'It Gets Better' being made by celebrities in the face of a string of tragic suicides of homosexual teenagers resulting from homophobic bullying, taunting or outing.

The messages are all incredibly moving, whether it be the tear-filled, pained messages from Tim Gunn or Ellen Degeneres, or the frankly shocked expressions from the likes of Neil Patrick Harris.

And it's easy to see why: this senseless loss of life is incredibly tragic and painful. And frightening: that kids can abuse kids to the point that they would end their own lives is terrifying to imagine.

As a result of learning about this, I decided to join in with my own message, delivered through a series of tweets on Twitter. The following is a repost and expansion of those tweets, and my story/message.

When I was younger, around the age of fifteen, I realised that I liked men. In some ways, that made the bullying I received all the more worse, as much of it was homophobic. It felt like maybe they knew some terrible secret I had, and the worst part was the secret was that they were right about me. I had a small group of friends at the time, who I really cared about and enjoyed my time with them.

When I came out, I lost all my friends. All of them. And that hurt. I spent months staying in with headphones on, friendless. I stayed in all the time listening to music (mostly Counting Crows) and writing down the lyrics (oh my god, how emo...but this was before emo! OMG, I created emo! I am SO sorry!).

And you know what, it hurt so bad I often wondered what the hell was the point. I was alone and thought I may always be, and thought 'why should I bother?'. I felt alone and...toxic, like everyone wanted to stay away and maybe they should have.

But I couldn't believe that was how the world was. I was determined there was more to it, and more for me. So I persevered.

Before I knew it, I had made some of the best friends of my life, one of whom, Drew Davies, has never left my life. And they didn't care I was gay. Why should they, it doesn't involve them, it's my life. To this day, Drew is a major part of my life, so much so that I even consider him more like a brother than a friend. He has even graciously allowed me to co-write on his awesome comic idea, Stiffs. Something I couldn't be happier doing.

Back then, I still got bullied. But I was happier, proud of who and what I was. I knew I was better than them, and that gave me strength. I was so strengthened by my new found friends, my new found life, that I openly came out about my sexuality in school. In an odd way, the very event that kept me up at night, my very worst fear, wound up making me kind of popular. Coupled with my own crazy sense of fun and carefree attitude to bullying, I became a better known guy, and friends to many.

And the bullies, though they occasionally flung barbed words my way, meant less and less to me every day.

Let me tell you something, in ten years time, all those bullies will regret how they treated you. Some will even apologise, as they did with me. That original group of 'friends'? All apologised, and I made my peace with them. They were just kids, and kids sometimes don't know what they're doing. They're as scared of themselves and the world around them as anyone else.

However, you will have nothing to apologise for. No regrets. The only thing you'd regret is taking that drastic action that could harm yourself; if the worst happens, could harm you forever. And it's not worth it at all.

I won't lie to you. The world is sometimes hard. And there are some small, hateful people out there. Fewer each day, but there are also so many good people an good things, there's no reason not to want to live in this world.

Sometimes you'll hurt, and sometimes you'll feel such joy. But if ever the hurt gets too much, there are people to talk to. Many schools and institutions have LGBT groups now, many aimed at youth. They care, they really do. I should know, I was part of one. And we worked tirelessly for the rights of those like us to live their lives free from abuse and with dignity and equality.

And in the US, the Trevor Project is there for you. They have a website and a phoneline (866 488 7386) there to help YOU.

So please, if you're thinking of that last statement, please, please, please don't do it. Talk to someone, anyone, as they're are so many people in your life who care and you don't even know it.

It's a hard world, but it's a good one. And it gets better. Every day.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Comics Pile Specal - X-Men: Second Coming

Tweeview:- "X-Men:SecondComing: A classic style X-Men event, done on a grand scale with some epic moments. Art is largely great"


Okay, unlike my other reviews where I do my best to avoid spoilers, I am just not going to bother here. Firstly because it would be next to impossible. Secondly, I'm reviewing the collected Hardcover edition of this event, and so there's little chance that you wouldn't know the key points and major outcomes if you're a comic fan, especially if you're an X-Men fan.

So here's your warning, here be spoilers. If you don't want to be spoiled, and have somehow remained so still, then don't bother reading this review.

Okay, now that they're gone, I'll begin.

X-Men: Second Coming is the third part in a trilogy of events that started with epic, game-changing Messiah CompleX, continued through the X-Force/Cable event Messiah War, and now concludes, as the 'mutant messiah' baby Hope, now a fully grown young woman, returns to the present with her guardian and father figure, Cable.

The story encompasses a vast range of the X-camp, bu mainly focuses on Hope and Cable, Scott Summers, and X-Force. The rest of the X-Men finally learn of the murderous team formed by Cyclops for covert wetworks missions, and some of the initial story points deal with the fallout of this.

Now, on the internet while the series was being released weekly across Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Legacy, New Mutants and X-Force, some fans seemed upset by some points in this series, especially some of the major deaths. I'll go into these individually, but suffice to say, the X-Men find themselves at war, literally, and if there had been no deaths at all it would have been a let-down and would have ruined any idea of realism and drama in the story. The fact that there are also a fair number of mutilations in this series I take with a mixed kind of makes sense that even some survivors would be forever scarred in some way, but it also feels gratuitous and unnecessary at certain junctures.

Onto the plot. Scripting duties are shared out between Matt Fraction, Mike Carey, Zeb Wells and Chris Yost and Craig Kyle. They work well together; for the most part it's hard to tell who's writing which chapters, though Fraction and Carey stand out most as they have some of the most distinctive dialogue to give the characters. The whole piece kind of feels like a Yost and Kyle story, and feels very much like a wider scale X-Force adventure, which makes sense given the villains and the revelation of the team.

However, no matter how vast this story is, and it is vast, the revelation of the X-Force group and the disparate reactions of other X-Men feel ultimately unresolved and incomplete. It would have been nice to see Cyclops having to deal with it more, maybe even facing more dissension in the ranks, but obviously the main point of the story is finding out what Hope is capable of an if she is indeed the messiah they all hope for.

My other quibble with the plot is the use and portrayal of Bastion. Now, Operation: Zero Tolerance was one of the first major crossover X-Men events that I ever read, and was able to get in on the ground floor on, reading it as it progressed in the American issues. Bastion is frightening in his zealotry and being the embodiment of some of the worst features of humanity, despite not actually being human himself. In Second Coming however, he is all machine, and there is nothing of the cool terrifying sentience of the original Bastion here, except in maybe one or two scenes handled by Fraction and Carey, and also at the very end.

As much as I realise that he was merged with a Nimrod unit, it felt a shame that the lead villain was essentially a computer intelligence and came across as such. Luckily, Bastion's cadre of fascists and anti-mutant hate mongers more than make up for it.

Which kind of brings me to why this is a great, classic X-Men storyline, done in the classic vein. This story feels very much like the culmination of decades of stories about the X-Men facing off against a humanity that would rather see them dead. This is a story about the hate and bigotry that those that are different face, and the dark futures that hatred and genocide spawn. And when, ultimately, the forces of the oppressed rally together, not just saving themselves but also the normal, average people around them, it feels like a fitting end to those stories, and that the X-Men can finally move on.

Grant Morrison kind of started doing something similar in his seminal New X-Men run. His stories were still the classic X-Men stories about bigotry and minority groups, but it was told from a different angle; the minority group culture becoming mainstream, the 'coming out of the closet' and rallying Rights movements. But they were all still essentially 'classic' stories; there was a bigotry one, a genocide one, a space one and a dark future one.

Here however, the story ends with a sense that these kinds of tales may finally be put to rest, and that the stories will move forward. Yes, the X-Men will continue to face those that would destroy them, but the motivations of these villains may be different now, as the X-Men finally finish off the threat of bigotry against them.

All in all, I loved this story. It was great to read, and had a wonderful end that felt like the future for the series held so many different possibilities. But there were those that weren't so keen, and the main reason is the two major deaths of popular characters. I'm now going to go into them, so last warning, if you don't want to know, do not read on.

The first major death was the sad loss of Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler has been a major part of the X-Men cast for decades in the comics, and was always a firm fan favourite. He was also the heart and spirit of the group, with his deeply moving religious struggles, and he was also a symbol of innocence for the X-Men in how he made everything seem like an adventure and always seemed to be having fun.

He had however been a little out of the spotlight lately, appearing sporadically in the comics in maybe an arc or odd issue. Many fans felt that he was brought into the spotlight in this series just to be a high profile death, and I can see why they could feel this way. As I mentioned, he'd barely been touched upon and had little in the way of a fully formed character arc in some time, only to be brought in as the voice of conscience and innocence for the team, and then be lost.

I think it is a shame that the character has been in the shadows for so long only to come to die at this point, but frankly, it couldn't really have been anyone else. After finding out about X-Force, Nightcrawler is shocked and appalled, but continues on like a good soldier, and he seems to struggle with the knowledge. Sadly, we don't see much of this struggle but it is implied, and well it should be. The death of Nightcrawler thus signals a loss of innocence for the team as they realise that they too can be capable of murder, and all mourn the loss of this innocence. Ultimately, this reignites the sense of moral conscience in all the team, which comes into play at the epilogue; and it also serves to bring Wolverine back to the point of nearly ever-present murderous rage that made him an unstable and interesting character to begin with.

The second major death was Cable. However, with the death of Cable I can see why many fans were left cold by it. It was badly telegraphed not just in the early chapters of the story but also in the promotional material that Marvel were putting out before the story started. As a result, his death was obvious and felt like a mere formality to get on with the story. Thus, Cable's death, though important and emotionally motivating for the characters, feels trivialised and inevitable to the readers.

I would have to say that this may not be the fault of the writers, but maybe higher up within Marvel. If the promotional material didn't make it so blatant, maybe the telegraphing wouldn't have seemed so obvious, and Cable's death may have struck an emotional chord with readers too.

However, all in all, the plot is damn near perfect. It's vast, spread out, and yet urgent, and feels like the ultimate showdown it should be. Hell, they could have easily made this the end of the X-Men entirely if they had so decided.

As for the art, the artistic chores are also spread out between Terry Dodson, Ibraim Roberson, Greg Lad and Mike Choi and Sonia Oback. There are also bookends to the series by Stuart Immonen, David Finch, and Esad Ribic, and a wonderful little assist in one issue by Lan Medina and Nathan Fox.

As a whole, the art is great, and everyone for the most part is one the top of their game. But as you can probably tell from my choice of words, there is a weak link.

Ibraim Roberson's art is nice, straightforward and tells the story perfectly. He makes an excellent month-by-month artist. Sadly, compared to the other artists though, his art feels the least accomplished and thought out, and sometimes looks static and cold. There's a definite sense of one to watch here, but he doesn't feel up to his A game yet, unlike the others.

Now, I bet some of you thought I was going to say the weak link was Greg Land. I normally agree with the internet folks who like to diss Land's work for it's gratuitous use of referencing, in particular when he appears to be simply tracing from pictures (worse yet when he appears to be tracing from porn pictures). For example, Land's work on major Ultimate Marvel event, Supreme Power, was filled with so many porno style faces; all women had a 'Cock goes where?' expression, and all men had a 'eeech, cummming!' look, it wound up making what was meant to be a serious event come across as a farce. However, here Land serves up some brilliant artwork. There seems little evidence of tracing, rather simple harmless referencing, which all artists do to some extent. His action sequences flow much better, and frankly it's some of the nicest work he's put out in ages.

Terry Dodson's more stylised cartoonish style manages to be very different yet fit wonderfully, and looks as gorgeous as ever. And Mike Choi and Sonia Oback produce some of their best art ever; in fact, it's them that have to deal with both major death scenes, and they do so with ease. Nightcrawler's is by far the best, handled with such care and warmth as the character deserves.

The assist by Nathan Fox and Lan Medina is a welcome surprise in the latter end of the series, as the more indie comic style art takes us inside the head of Legion and seems like a perfect choice for it. In fact, I could have happily seen more of it!

The book ends too largely look great, with Immonen and Ribic delivering some wonderfully detailed and poignant scenes with ease. David Finch's issue to kick off the event is a little odd to look at sometimes, with some peculiar anatomy and faces, but is largely gritty, powerful and heroic.

Finally, the presentation of the hardcover's epic. You get loads for your money in this book, not just the main series but some nice extras and all the covers too, all beautifully laid out and reprinted. It's one of the nicest collections this year, only just being trumped by the Batwoman GN released earlier this year.

So all in all, X-Men: Second Coming is a must read, featuring some of the best writers and best artists around, and is well worth forking out the large sum of cash for.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Weekly Comics Pile 30/09/2010

Action Comics #893 - Paul Cornell (w), Sean Chen (a)

Tweeview:- "ActionComics893: great, quirky issue, story is coming along in an interesting way. Sean Chen does a great job with the art"

So this is the next part of Cornell's 'Black Ring' arc, following the exploits of dastardly Lex Luthor instead of the usual adventures of the comics usual hero, Supes.

It's a great little arc, and quite a departure for Lex's usual portrayal too, whilst still somehow remaining loyal to all that's come before.

It's quirky, offbeat and bizarre,often filled with comedy moments (Gorilla Grodd attacking people with a giant spoon stands out). And yet it's a tale of the same obsessive, manipulative and intelligent man we've seen before. It's like looking at the world through a peculiar lens: everything is a little warped, but essentially the same.

Sadly, we don't learn much about the mysterious energy signatures that Lex is following, and that remains a big mystery about the book. In fact, I worry that if we don't learn something significant and soon, the book could fall prey to the mistakes of TV shows like LOST and FLASH FORWARD; i.e. you have to reveal a little each episode, or people get frustrated.

However, we're far from there yet, and the arc is still proving to be loads of fun. And the surprise last page guest appearance is a winner (yes, I knew she was coming, but I thought that was next issue).

We get a new artist this issue too, as Sean Chen takes over. Not sure if it's just as a fill in, or as a new regular artist, but I'm kinda hoping the latter. Chen's work is a lot more interesting and dynamic, and isn't as sparse looking.

That being said, a couple of panels do suffer from being a little...vague. It took me a while to figure out with one panel who the extreme close-up was of, and that ain't great. But it by no means harms the book greatly.

This weird road trip is still a lot of fun.

Marvelous Land of Oz GN - L. Frank Baum/Eric Shanower (w), Skottie Young (a)

Tweeview:- "MarvellousLandofOz: sweet wonderful story, brilliant adaptation. The art is truly lovely too, always suiting the mood."

I've never really read the books. In fact, prior to the graphic novels, my only knowledge of the land of Oz has been from the films. So getting to read these wonderful, sweet stories is a joy, especially in a medium I am especially fond of.

Whilst I am not familiar with the source material, the adaptation seems loyal. Character's and dialogue feel directly lifted from a book, and yet scripted to work in this more graphic medium. As such, there are moments where the dialogue feels a little quaint, as it's so old a series of books.

That being said, I was personally amazed at how progressive and 'modern' the stories are; from pseudo-feminist revolts to transgender modifications, some of the ideas are a genuine surprise considering when they came from. However, there's always something in the story that ground it in the time it was made, and that just serves to make the fairy tale all the more sweet.

The art from Skottie Young is, as with the first novel, brilliant. The man is at the top of his game, and clearly loves drawing these stories, so it makes it even more of a pleasure to read them. In fact, all in all, this wonderfully presented package makes me eagerly await the next one.

X-Men Legacy #240 - Mike Carey (w), Clay Mann (a)

Tweeview: "X-MenLegacy240: Art has been better but does show some inspired storytelling. Story itself great but mostly for wedding scene"

This is a pretty competent and strong middle issue plot wise, however it feels that most of the plot is designed to get us to and through a wedding scene unlike many others seen in American comics.

It's a nice presentation. It's done in such a way as to not cast any judgement on the ceremonies and practices of another culture that may seem alien and wrong to some readers (whose voices are reflected by the opinions of certain characters), but shows respect to this culture. It does feel a little out of place given the situation; the situation is dire, and it seems anyone truly concerned about friends wouldn't care who was in their way to go save them, so it seems odd that the remaining characters go through with the wedding quicker. Also, given the revelation towards the end of the scene, that one character's motivations do seem odd. Why bother? When they suggest moving the wedding forward, why wouldn't they just reveal the truth of the situation then?

(If this doesn't make any sense, it's because I'm trying to avoid spoilers. This arc has been really good so far, so I hope everyone is reading it).

The main downfall of this issue is the art. It's by no means bad. In fact, I'm really enjoying Clay Mann's work, he has a wonderful sense of drama and positioning in his panels, and his action sequences are movie-like. However, in this issue a couple of pages looked rushed; slightly edgier and rougher than usual, and in some cases lines looked blurry as though they were badly copied or enlarged digitally. Maybe I have a funky print of the issue, but it didn't seem like a one off thing.

Otherwise it's great fun to read, and Magneto still has some brilliant characterisation from Carey, and some fun lines. Also, there's a sequence with a brilliant panel structure that moves along dual plot lines with ease, and almost works better than having a caption saying 'Meanwhile...'

RED - Warren Ellis (w), Cully Hamner (a)

Tweeview:- "RED: Fantastic use of panels to convey speed and urgency, and a neat little thriller story. Wish it was longer though"

So, yes, I seem to be a little late in discovering this, but what with the upcoming film, I decided I should read it. Which is odd, because if the trailers are anything to go by, the book is completely different.

In fact, it comes across that the book is the germ of an idea that someone went wild with for the film. I just hope the film will turn out half as good.

Anyway, RED is a fantastic, if typical Warren Ellis book. Nothing new here if you're a fan of Ellis' work (which I most assuredly am), so if you're a fan who like me has missed this one, you must get it. If for whatever insane reason (brain weasels?) you are not a fan of Ellis, then you may not dig RED for anything other than the art.

That's a thing see. The art in this book is so fantastic and slick that it's impossible to not like it. It's some of Hamner's best work, and this is from a couple of years ago now. Also, he uses panels with a deft knowledge of conventions, managing to emphasise the speed and frantic sense of the action sequences through subtle changes in panel layout and style.

Story wise, as I mentioned, it's pretty typical. A damn fine thriller, but perhaps a little obvious at times if you've read a lot of Ellis' other work. It is sadly also far too short. I would have loved to see more of the character's, even the spineless ones, and learned more about them and their personalities. Sadly, we feel like we're only just getting to really know them by the time this ends. However, we certainly give a damn about them, which given how short this is damn fine work.

If the film manages to keep some of the same beats and themes of the book, then it will be good watching indeed.