Tag Archives: Indie

Review: Half-Life: A Place in the West #1

I vividly recall playing the video game Half-Life for the first time. While it was a terrific first-person shooter in it’s own right, the biggest draw of the game was the vivid and robust world the developers built within the game. Valve Software continued to build on this world in Half-Life 2 and their episodic series based on the franchise, and I was swept along for the ride with each new installment. I’m a big fan of this universe! So, when I read about the independent, fan-made project that aimed to create a comic book set within the Half-Life universe I was equal parts excited and leery. I’d love to be able to revisit this universe, but I’ve read my fair share of fan-fiction and indie comic books in the past, and the majority of both have been less than stellar. Which makes A Place in the West #1 a true surprise. Not only is it a well-dressed return to the Half-Life universe, but it’s a solid comic book in it’s own right. Check it out for free here!

Continue reading Review: Half-Life: A Place in the West #1

Fan-Made Half-Life Comic is Here

Fans of the video game series Half-Life are a ravenous and dedicated bunch. Such as it is with the fan-made comic book based on the fan-favorite video game, Half-Life: A Place in the West from writers Ross Joseph Gardner and Michael Pelletier, and artist Heath Heil.

Outright Geekery reviews to follow soon!

http://www.aplaceinthewest.net/

Covered: June 18th, 2014

Sometimes you just want to see hot comic book shelf porn. Well, we’ve got you COVERED! Here’s the best comic book covers of the week.

Batman & Robin #32 by Mick Gray

Batman and Robin 32

Batwoman #32 by Rafael Albuquerque

Batwoman 32

Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever #1 by Juan Ortiz

Star Trek - City on the Edge of Forever 1

The Punisher #7 by Mitch Gerads

The Punisher 7

Silver Surfer #3 by Michael Allred

Silver Surfer 3

Elektra #3 by Mike Del Mundo

Elektra 3

Previews Issue 306: March 2014 for May 2014

Previews Cover 1Previews Cover 2

Whether you call it the Comic Shop’s Catalogue or the Best Bathroom Reading in the World, the monthly edition of Previews is just as much a part of my regular geek reading as the comics it solicits. Outright Geekery takes a look into the near future (no TARDIS required) as we touch on some of the highlights of this month’s Previews.

Marvel Comics

Cyclops 1Marvel Comics in May is all about events. Original Sin, Inhuman, and the return of a certain Spider-Man pretty much sums up the entire 31-day period over at The House of Ideas. BUT. There are a few “lesser” titles worth mentioning outside of these event cash-sinks and “tell-me-again” tales.

To begin, Cyclops #1 hits store shelves in May, and the story of a young Cyke meeting his estranged Space Pirate Daddy is an intriguing premise. Writer Greg Rucka takes Bendis’ fanboy surprise hit All-New X-Men and has some fun with nostalgia himself. Who said this All-New X-Men thing was going to be a flash-in-the-pan Bendis-only playground? Well, that dude was wrong, and Cyclops #1 is set to bring an entire new aspect to that time-traveling tale of the Original X-Men Team. Great writer, good artist, fun premise. This one’s going to be fun!

Iron Fist Living Weapon 2Kaare Andrews continues to delve into the life of Danny Rand as both writer and artist on Iron Fist: The Living Weapon  #2, and it looks like the creator has a firm grasp on what makes Danny tick. Insight on Iron Fist’s origin is promised, we’re supposed to get plenty of K’un Lun (always nice), but I know, without a doubt, that no matter what this book promises, with Kaare Andrews on art, the book is going to be a beautiful thing to behold. It’s always tough for a single creator to keep a pace on ANY book, but doing so on one that requires such a huge amount of art detail as Iron Fist demands is going to be near impossible for a long run for this creator on this book. So, get it while it’s hot! ‘Cause it won’t last long.

Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1Sticking with the martial arts theme, this fanboy is super excited to see the return of a longtime fan-favorite title, Deadly Hands of Kung Fu starring everyone’s favorite Marvel martial artist, Shang-Chi. This is simply a book Marvel NEEDS to have in their bullpen, just because it’s completely different than anything they currently have going on. Don’t think legendary kung fu action can be cool in contemporary comics anymore? I implore you to read Avengers World #3 and see just how awesome those old kung fu movies can be when translated to comic panels. I have huge hopes for this title being awesome, and, with it only being a 4 issue mini-series, the investment is small enough to make it a safe bet on any given Wednesday in May.

DC Comics

May is a HUGE month for DC Comics and there’s so much going on! New Number 1’s, a new Power Ring, and not 1, not 2, not even 3 but 4, yes, count them 1.2.3.FOUR events in one form or another starting up. Whew! Let us begin.

Five Years LaterThis is it! The big one! The one everyone’s been talking about! Batman Beyond’s Terry McGinnis makes his New 52 debut in The New 52 – Future’s End! Yeah, the “The New 52” is actually part of the title. They’re making a big deal out of this, and why shouldn’t they? Time-travel is ALWAYS awesome! Right? I mean, it works a lot of the time…man, I hope this is good. This is a weekly, too, Geeks, so that should mean some really quick action, and it sure is a refreshing, if not dramatic, swing to the slow crawl that Forever Evil has felt like. I’m really excited to see where this is going to lead, but, like all books (and especially events) if this isn’t knock-my-socks-off awesome from the very first ish, I’m not going to throw my precious comic book dollar at it for what may be. Although, with Terry in the mix, this is going to be fun.

Superman DoomedHey look! It’s Doomsday. Oh, hey look! It’s another Superman event. I’m not what the count is, officially, at right now, but I think it’s somewhere around 8 Superman event so far since the launch of the New 52. It depends on how you are counting, but it’s still A LOT of event centered around a single character. It may have something to do with sliding sales of Action Comics and Superman-proper, but this may actually be something worth getting. There’s been some creator shakeups on both Action and Superman that have lead to some good changes on each of these books, and Charles Soule has been kicking ass on Superman/Wonder Woman, so there’s a ton of potential here. This event IS going to be four issues just in the month of May, and with the above mentioned weekly event it may be a tough sale for newcomers. But the faithful are going to eat it up. Speaking of events…

Batman EternalBatman: Eternal! I didn’t talk about this title much last month during my Previews review because I honestly don’t know much about this title, and that is on purpose. As someone who writes for a blog focusing on comics I’m supposed to be in the know on these things, but that tends to spoil things to a point. I don’t want to be spoiled at all for this! This book may begin in April but I’m expecting good things, and I wanted to make sure I gave it a mention. Can I swing ANOTHER weekly book in the month of May? No, probably not, but we are currently seeking any and all donations. Barring that, I may not be getting ANY Marvel books until things calm down a bit over here at DC.

Justice League United 1Another Green Lantern event begins in May (that’s event number 4) and the new Power Ring shows up in Justice League #31, but that could be said for almost any month in the past few years, and Power Ring is cool, but he’s the least cool of the entire Crime Syndicate. In more important news, Jeff Lemire is finally bringing us Justice League United (not Canada) and I couldn’t be happier about this book finally coming out. The team lineup looks awesome; the creative team is spot-on for this sort of book; and everything about it just screams “awesome”. To my knowledge, there’s an issue #0 of this title dropping a month before this ish hits shelves, but still, keep an eye out for this. Do I really want another Justice League book? No. But, if I have to get one, I’m happy that it’s THIS book.

Image Comics

There’s almost too much to choose from over at Image Comics this month. They just have so many great things coming out, it’s hard to just highlight a few for this article. But, hell, I’m here, I’m typing, I might as well try.

MPHMillarworld continue to pump out product, and the latest installment to the growing library of the creator giant Mark Millar is MPH, the story of a street drug that grants super speed to some youths. Millar’s stuff isn’t usually something I go for, but what I have read about this title makes it seem like it’s going to be a great comic.

Warren Ellis brings another sci-fi epic to the pages of a comic book, nay, a graphic novel, with Trees #1 dropping on May 28th. This looks weird. And that’s why I’m going to be picking it up. I’m a bit worried though, because these sorts of books tend to read better when they are collected. So, this will probably just be sitting in my hold-box for months and months. Don’t look for a review anytime soon.

Rise of the MagiNext from Image Comics is Marc Silvestri’s fantasy comic Rise of the Magi. I really dig Silvestri when he is writing within his element, and a magical fantasy comic book is the perfect premise for him to write behind. Look for the Free Comic Book Day primer issue of this title dropping this month.

Fan-favorite titles Chew and Revival team-up for a cool, if not awkward, one-shot hitting comic shops on May 28th.

C.O.W.L. issue 1 also looks great, as does Nailbiter #1, and the G-Man illustrator convention comic Tales from the Con. There’s just way too many great books coming from Image Comics this month to get to in this article. Do yourself a favor: Hit up your Indie shelf at you local comic shop, and spend a little time there.

Indie Comics

The 1960’s comic hero is back! Brain Boy: The Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T., from Dark Horse Comics brings Agent Price back into action. With veteran Fred Van Lente writing the thing it’s not going to be bad.

The Last BroadcastBoom! Studios is bringing readers Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #1, and Mr. Barker himself has writing credits, along with Marc Andreyko, a terrific writer in his own right.

Finally from the independent publishers, is something completely different, Andre Sirangelo and Gabriel Iumazark on The Last Broadcast from Archaia Comics. It follows a ragtag group of urban explorers as they spelunk the sewers and abandoned dwellings of San Francisco. Then, a twist of mystery as they find an abandoned magician’s bunker. The art looks brilliant, and the story is interesting enough to make this a great pick-up.

Merch

Enterprise-EI know I’m repeating myself, but these replicas are just too awesome to ignore. Eaglemoss’ Star Trek Official Starships Collection continues with a Krenim Temporal Weapon Ship from Star Trek: Voyager, and although that was a very important craft from the series, the Enterprise-E debuts in glorious fashion. I. Love. This. Ship. At 20 bucks, there’s no reason NOT to have this in your own fleet of awesome.

From Lionel; yes, the model train people; comes a surprising addition to this month’s Previews review. A Harry Hogwart's ExpressPotter replica Hogwart’s Express model train set. Are you kidding me?! This is an amazing piece for any Harry Potter fan to add to her collection, and my wife just may be one of those fans. Are you kidding me?! 400 bucks! Yeah, the wife may have to wait a while for this one.

Kotobukiya ARTFX Statue HawkeyeFinally in merch from May’s Previews, there another beautiful piece from ARTFX+ statues in Kotobukiya’s line, The Avengers Movie Haweye statue. This statue will look great next to the Captain America and Hulk statues that previously hit stores, and it’s only a, relative, cheap 55 bucks. At that price, if you like Hawkeye or want something really nice to show off your adoration for the Marvel mega movie blockbuster, and the films sure to follow, this should definitely be on your shortlist.

FCBDI couldn’t let the May solicits go without mentioning that one of my favorite holidays of the year is on May 3rd. Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May, and this year that’s May 3rd. Be sure to make time to get out to your local participating comic book shop on May 3rd, meet and greet with fellow comic fans, wear your favorite costume, and get your hands on some free swag. A selection of comic books will be available for every visitor to participating comic shops, and most shops run great sales and bargains. It’s just a great day at the comic shop, and you need to check it out!

That’s it for Previews this month. Pick one up at your local comics shop, or check them out here,  and share your favs in the comments!

Previews Issue 305: February 2014 for April 2014

Batman LegacySpiderman

Whether you call it the Comic Shop’s Catalogue or the Best Bathroom Reading in the World, the monthly edition of Previews is just as much a part of my regular geek reading as the comics it solicits. Outright Geekery takes a look into the near future (no TARDIS required) as we touch on some of the highlights of this month’s Previews.

Marvel Comics

Original SinThe House of Ideas Summer 2014 event du jour is Original Sin and the whole thing kicks off in April with a #0 issue. I don’t like Summer events, I’m not particularly excited about the plot of The Watcher being murdered, and I detest #0 issues, especially for events. Not something I’m looking forward to, but it’s going to be huge. Marvel is pushing it hard but there comes a point where you just have to skip an event or two, and Original Sin is one I will be skipping. What I won’t be skipping is another new beginning for a fan-favorite.

One Spider-Man ends and another begins…again! Peter Parker is back, and the Superior Spider-Man is gone. Dan Slott has told a really fun and different kind of story with Superior Spider-Man and I have to admit I’m going to miss it when it’s gone. While I’m still not sold that yet another big change for Spider-Man won’t ultimately be more of the same, Amazing Spider-Man #1 relaunching in April has been a very long time coming.

There’s a lot of #1’s dropping this month as part of All-New Marvel NOW! and as part of What If Age of Ultronthe Ultimate line’s latest in a string of reboots, but I wanted to put a focus on a series of What If? titles dropping throughout the month, What If? Age of Ultron. Seeing as how the entire concept of the “real” Age of Ultron event was all about alternate realities brought on by time-travel, it’s entirely possible that each of these alternate versions of the story ACTUALLY took place in some other universe. It’s all quite mind-boggling and gives me a headache whenever I try to think about it, but Age of Ultron started a chain of events that will culminate in something big happening years down the road. They probably aren’t mandatory reading, but the experience may have a nice payoff down the road. Keep an eye out for this one to not suck as bad as you think it may.

DC Comics

The postForever Evil fallout hits the DCU and there’s almost too many books to list. I guess they really did mean FOREVER when they said Forever Evil.

Aquaman and The OthersThe fans asked for it and DC listened! Aquaman and The Others is an actual thing, and it hits shelves on April 2nd. Aquaman is the joke turned superstar, and it shows as he gets his very own team-book full of some truly intriguing characters. If only Wednesday fell on 1st, because the joke isn’t on ole Fishface anymore, it’s on us, the readers, and, unfortunately, our wallets. Dan Jurgens is on writing duties, and I have full faith he’ll do a great job, and Lan Medina’s pencils shined on Fables, so I am really stoked to see what they bring to a team and a backstory that Geoff Johns really only hinted at in the Aquaman book proper. Make room on your pull-lists, geeks! This is going to be a good one.

While the announcement of a 4-issue Batman weekly series, Batman: Eternal, hitting stores throughout the month is big news, I’m way more excited to see that my favorite Flash creative team in the whole wide world will be taking over duties on Detective Comics starting with issue #30. Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul made Flash a go-to book for me each and every month, and I’m excited to see them wave their wands and pull the trick off again.

I’ll throw an extra one in here for DC because their Vertigo Press line has a great little book that they are releasing quarterly called, beleive it or not, Vertigo Quarterly. The first issue, dropping all the way on April 30th, includes 11+ creators including Jock, James Tynion IV, and Fabian Moon, and promises to tell stories revolving around the color blue, as the name of the ish, Cyan #1, suggests. At $7.99 for 80 pages it’s a hell of a deal. Look out for it.

Image Comics

New from Image this month is Southern Bastards issue #1 from Jason Aaron as he rejoins his Scalped partner Jason Latour for some Southern Fired Stereotypes. Should be fun, and I’m a fan of Aaron’s work. Might give this a chance.

Issue #111 of Invincible, the long running superhero title from The Walking Dead writer and all-around punching bag, Robert Kirkman, promises big changes. Well, it’s about damn time Kirkman! Invincible has been getting worse by the month when it comes out on time. It’s good to see much need attention going to a book that has been slipping.

Shutter 1Finally from Image Comics, comes Shutter #1 by writer Joe Keatinge. Never heard of him? Well, there’s really no reason that you should have, but he’s gotten some work on other Indie press and he’s writing the aforementioned What If: Age of Ultron title from Marvel, and I just have a really good feeling about this guy. The book promises to be “Indiana Jones for the 21st Century” but I’m not letting that turn me off from what my gut tells me is going to be a cool introduction to a writer with a ton of promise. Leila del Luca is on art, and while I have even less experience with her work that I do the writer, but I’m still grabbing this title when it drops April 9th.

Indie Press

Caliban 1Garth Ennis continues his reign of terror over at Avatar Press with the new sci-fi/horror Caliban, and it’s sure to be a gore-fest. Interstellar disaster and an unplanned rendezvous with an alien spacecraft brings a new kind of fear to the crew of the Caliban. It’s gonna be scary, I’m pretty excited!

Takeoff hit Batman ’66 writer Jeff Parker brings the past back to life with Flash Gordon #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. This is the perfect sort of book for Parker, and if his style with this storied character is anything like his Batman ’66 work this will be one to look out for.

Merch

Nova Corps T-Shirt

I’ve seen tons of superhero t-shirts in my day but it’s nice to see the Nova Corps getting some love. Nova himself is always getting his likeness plastered on a lunchbox or something, but I like to see the whole team getting some attention.

Green Dragon Dagger

No toy collection would be complete without this replica Green Power Ranger Dragon Dagger from the original Power Rangers show. Light and sound effects are built-in, but, sorry, it’s not an actual musical instrument. Still, I’d love to have one on display in the Geek Den.

Kill Bill Minimates

In their attempt to include each and every license under their umbrella of miniature toy figure domination, MiniMates brings us the 10th Anniversary Box Set of Kill Bill MiniMates, House of Blue Leaves. Pretty cool.

That’s it for Previews this month. Pick one up at your local comics shop, or check them out here,  and share your favs in the comments!

Previews Issue 304: January 2014 for March 2014

Previews 304Marvel Previews Issue 18

Whether you call it the Comic Shop’s Catalogue or the Best Bathroom Reading in the World, the monthly edition of Previews is just as much a part of my regular geek reading as the comics it solicits. Outright Geekery takes a look into the near future (no TARDIS required) as we touch on some of the highlights of this month’s Previews.

Marvel

All-New-Marvel-Now-logo

Marvel Comics continues to lay down their brand new batch of comics as part of All New Marvel NOW! To see our full rundown of these titles check out our five part series here.

Superior Spider-Man #29Superior Spider-Man promises some more Spidey 2099 goodness, as Goblin nation reaches its penultimate chapter. Our money is still on the Goblin being Peter Parker. That’s just Slott’s style.

Marvel is putting its money where its mouth is with this whole Revolutionary War event, and they’ve Revolutionary War Motormouthadded a few more one-shots to tie in to the British Epic. I’m not sure the whole United Kingdom angle has the appeal to be successful in the States, but the more I read about this thing the more excited I’m getting. I may just have to check out what’s going down across the pond in the Marvel U.

DC Comics

Forever Evil 7Justice League 29

Forever Evil, ironically as it sounds, ends with issue #7, and the repercussions continue to reverberate through the DC Universe. The Metal Men doing their best Justice League impersonation on the cover of Justice League 29, also dropping in March, is a thing of beauty.

Black Canary and ZatannaBlack Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell, an original graphic novel, hits shelves on May 21st at 23 bucks. I have no idea how good or bad this will be, but I really like the idea of OGN’s. I hope it’s a trend that continues.

Animal Man #29

Finally from DC, it’s the end of an era, and they’re ending it in fine fashion. Just look at that art! I hate to see Animal Man go away at issue #29, but if it must at least they’re sending it off in style. Jeff Lemire’s run on this will go down as one of the must-read Animal Man runs in history, and deservedly so.

ImageStray Bullets

The multiple Eisner award winning wonder, Stray Bullets, makes a triumphant comeback with Stray Bullets #41, Stray Bullets: Killers #1, and Stray Bullets The Uber Alles Edition collection ish 1-41 of this modern day classic. Do not miss this chance to jump on David Lapham’s sure to be classic continuation.

Real Heroes #1The Ultimates writer Bryan Hitch comes out swinging this month with a nice take on the super hero genre with Real Heroes #1. Hollywood actors in a super hero movie are needed to save the world. Maybe a bit too much Galaxy Quest with capes, but I’m on board for at least an arc or two.

Finally from Image Comics this month, a couple of OGNs that are uniquely different, yet quite intriguing. Darren Aronofsky, the mind behind Black Swan and The Wrestler, team with Pride of Baghdad artist Niko NoahHendrichon, to retell one of the oldest stories in history, Noah. This version of that ancient flood and devastation story, however, takes the Biblical epic, mixes in some fantasy and sci-fi, to promise something completely different and beautiful to behold.

And for something completely different, there’s Simon Roy’s Jan’s Atomic Heart and Other Stories, a collection of sci-fi tales that are right up this anthology loving comic book readers alley.

Jan's Atomic Heart

Indie PressHellboy 20th Anniversary Sampler

Dark Horse celebrates 20 years of Hellboy with a special retailer incentive marking March 22nd as Hellboy Day. It looks like a poster promo, but, hey, a free poster is pretty freaking awesome!

Crossed - Badlands 50

Another unofficial holiday coming up this month is Avatar Press celebrating the return of series creator Garth Ennis to the sick and twisted world of Crossed. March 25th has been deemed C-Day. It’s a great day for anyone psychotic enough to enjoy the enseeable slurry of sadistic splendor that is the Crossed brand. Box sets, annuals, collections and enough issues to shove down someone’s throat and kill them while laughing with glee. Yeah, that’s Crossed for ya!

Merch

The Official Starships Collection of Star Trek miniatures is back with two great additions to the fleet. A replica of the U.S.S. Dauntless from a pretty good episode of Voyager, and the replica Bajoran Light Ship from a memorable father-son bonding episode of DS9. At twenty bucks a pop these should be sitting on the shelf of every Trekkie this side of the Neutral Zone.

Dauntless Bajoran Light Shipiron-patriot-1-4-scale-statue

Gentle Giant brings us a badass Iron Patriot 1/4 scale statue made using the original CG scans used to make the special effects in the latest Ironman flick. It’s so pretty!Voltron

And finally, the most amazing figure I’ve seen in a long time. An 11 inch tall, full die-cast and ABS, transforming, 30th anniversary special edition Voltron Lion figure set. For 250 bucks it’s well out of my price range, but a guy can dream can’t he?

That’s it for Previews this month. Pick one up at your local comics shop, or check them out here,  and share your favs in the comments!