With Further Ado #058: Discoveries beyond Discovery

With Further Ado #058: Discoveries beyond Discovery

Back in the day, when we had no idea that the Star Trek mythology would become so expansive, there was always a hint of untold stories about the folks on the Enterprise before Uhura, Scotty and the gang.   We were briefly introduced to Captain Kirk’s predecessor, Captain Pike, and shown the tragic ending to his career.  Little fanboys watching the show via 70s reruns (like me) couldn’t help but wonder what adventures that guy had in the earlier part of his career.

Over the years, I read a few paperback books focusing on Captain Pike. Marvel published a series called Early Voyages (that didn’t really do it for me) and more recently John Byrne took a crack at it again at IDW.

With all that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised by IDW’s new series Star Trek: Discovery – Aftermath. This series spins out of the recent Star Trek Discovery mythology.  As is the case for many longtime fans, this new reboot seemed to have so many troublesome issues for me that I’ve kind of drifted away from it.  Oh, I’m not shaking my fists with fan rage. Like a party that isn’t that great, or meant for me, I found myself slinking out the back door when no one was looking.  Continue reading “With Further Ado #058: Discoveries beyond Discovery”

Preview Reviews for the week of 9/4/2019: Battlepug #1 and Going to the Chapel #1

Preview Reviews for the week of 9/4/2019: Battlepug #1 and Going to the Chapel #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

A reminder for you. Here at PopCultureSquad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for these books.

This week we have TWO preview comics. The first is the debut of Battlepug by Mike Norton and Allen Passalaqua, published by Image Comics. The second book is the premiere issue of Going to the Chapel by David Pepose and Gavin Guidry from Action Lab. Both of these books have been eagerly anticipated and are featured in our New Number Ones column for September.

You can find Battlepug and Going to the Chapel at your LCS on August 28, 2019. Continue reading “Preview Reviews for the week of 9/4/2019: Battlepug #1 and Going to the Chapel #1”

Everything We Read Special: Marvel Comics #1000

Everything We Read Special: Marvel Comics #1000

MAIN COVER BY ALEX ROSS

Normally we use this space to do quick spoiler-free reviews of all the comics we read for the current week. Today we are bringing you a special review of just one book. It is the 80-page giant publication of Marvel Comics #1000.

I know what you are thinking. There haven’t been one thousand issues of Marvel Comics. Yeah. You are right. In an effort to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of Marvel Comics, Marvel has put together a special book. The folks at Marvel did not even try to engage in the creative accounting that their counterparts at DC Comics did in terms of getting to the number that they did with Action Comics #1000 and Detective Comics #1000. They have said that the number is merely “symbolic”.

The narrative idea behind the book, which is the brainchild of writer Al Ewing, is interesting. The book is a collection of one-page stories. Each story is produced by a different creative team and is meant to highlight or recall a particular event from Marvel Comics history for a particular year in the past eighty. While there are plenty of interesting one offs in the homages, what really makes the book interesting is a narrative thread that Ewing ties through several pages to explore the history of the Marvel Universe. Continue reading “Everything We Read Special: Marvel Comics #1000”

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2019

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2019

Welcome back to New Number Ones!!

Here, we give our readers a preview of the new comic book series that we are looking forward to each month. We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from PREVIEWSworld. Look for our PCS NOTES below where we just have to tell you some more about the new comic in question.

There are a ton of new series of interest starting in September. We pared down the list that we are most interested in to just over twenty. Most of these are creator-owned new series which make them extra special. There is a good mix of both existing and new characters featured in these book. Below you will find a slate of new books from a wide variety of publishers. Some of our favorite comic book talents are bringing us some of these new series.

Watch out for the first week. There are about eight great new series hitting stores on September 4th.

We hope you will take a look and think about giving these a try. We will bring you reviews of most of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in September 2019”

Preview Reviews for the week of 8/28/2019: Doctor Mirage #1 and Mountainhead #1

Preview Reviews for the week of 8/28/2019: Doctor Mirage #1 and Mountainhead #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

A reminder for you. Here at PopCultureSquad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for these books.

This week we have TWO preview comics. The first is the debut of Doctor Mirage by Magdalene Visaggio and Nick Robles, published by Valiant Entertainment. The second book is the premiere issue of Mountainhead by John Lees and Ryan Lee from IDW. Both of these books have been eagerly anticipated and are featured in our New Number Ones column for August.

You can find Doctor Mirage and Mountainhead at your LCS on August 28, 2019.


Doctor Mirage #1
Valiant Entertainment
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Nick Robles
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Cover art by Philip Tan

Original Solicitation:

How do you solve the case of your own death? Paranormal expert Doctor Shan Fong Mirage was born with the ability to see and speak to the dead-an ability that has mysteriously stopped working. Have her powers failed or is something far more sinister at work? Will she figure out her fate and the fate of the one she loves the most? Valiant’s gripping supernatural mystery starts here!

PCS Review:

Valiant’s decision to bring back and refresh older characters in their control has been full of bright spots, and this is another one. Magdalene Visaggio delivers a head spinning narrative that explores the sense of self and purpose that the lead character possesses, and she introduces a new character that immediately commands your attention. The plot of this story unfolds into a supernatural mystery that begins the audience on a journey of recovery, or maybe we just think that.

This book is lovely. The combination of Nick Robles’ line art and Jordie Bellaire’s color work is a treat to behold. Bellaire’s colors create a pervasive feeling of the supernatural and chaos simultaneously. The creative panel layouts that Robles uses in this book add to the interesting read of this mysterious plot. Dave Sharpe’s work in this issue is some high level stuff. The letters are clean and the word art is organic and thoughtfully placed.

We will definitely be looking forward to the next issue of this limited series.


Mountainhead #1
IDW Entertainment
Written by John Lees
Art by Ryan Lee
Colors by Doug Garbark
Letters by Shawn Lee
Cover art by Lee

Original Solicitation:

Abraham Stubbs and his father Noah roam America in a nomadic existence. Convinced they are being pursued by sinister government forces, Noah has them living off the grid, burgling houses to survive. Elsewhere, on Mount Rector, the lone survivor of a climbing expedition staggers homeward, covered in blood. Both are on an inevitable collision course with the picturesque Canadian resort town of Braeriach. From writer John Lees and artist Ryan Lee, featuring colors from Doug Garbark and letters from Shawn Lee.

An exciting psychological thriller and horror story, all in one!

PCS Review:

The story that John Lees weaves in this initial issue to Mountainhead is compelling and heartbreaking. It would be safe to say that Abraham is the most easily sympathetic new character that I have read this year. Holy crap does that kid need a hug. Sorry. No more spoilers. This is an interesting story and the pace of the book leads the audience to the idea that there is lots more we will find out in the coming issues.

The art team really knocked it out of the park in this issue. There are stylistic choices made for the visual presentation of the story that really work well. The color work is outstanding and really does a lot of heavy lifting in setting the tone of each page. This book is a worthwhile read with an intriguing story that is just getting underway. Give it a shot.

Brainiac On Banjo 048: Tragedy, Horror and Justice Denied

Brainiac On Banjo 048: Tragedy, Horror and Justice Denied

 

I entered the first grade in 1956 and I graduated from high school in 1968. During those dozen years, I did not hear one word from my teachers about the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II. I did not read about it in any of my schoolbooks. I didn’t hear about it from my family, or from newspapers, radio, or television.

Being something of a history freak and heavily under the influence of George Santayana, I initially stumbled across this horror in fairly superficial terms. As time went on and we moved from incarcerating Asian-Americans in America to killing the natives of southeast Asia, I had been able to gather a great quantity of information about the internment camps… but, even so, I had only scratched the surface. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo 048: Tragedy, Horror and Justice Denied”

Everything We Read This Week – 08/7/2019

Everything We Read This Week – 08/7/2019

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week. This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

This week was we open a new month of comics. Through some quirkiness, we noticed that there are an inordinate number of books that start with D in this week’s list. Also, there are a lot of Issue #2’s in the list. Unrelated to these oddities,  we were able to read some excellent comics by a variety of publishers. Some important series began, and we have the reviews for you. Find the comics you like and remember, Read More Comics!!

We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Image, Dynamite, Dark Horse, and AfterShock Comics this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. Don’t forget we welcome comments on these and any other comics that you read. Feel free to leave a comment and get the conversation moving.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here. You will see books that we were looking forward to with the designation Hot #1 by them. There are a few of them out this week, and they are really good.

DISCLAIMER: 

There is a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously as everyone gets their own impressions of art. These ratings are just to give our readers an idea of what we thought of the book, and they will be on the generous side normally. So don’t expect to see a lot of 1 Stars. After all, it’s not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.

The rating system is as follows:

Great

 Good

 OK

 Not Good

 

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 08/7/2019”

Preview Reviews for the week of 8/7/2019: Dead End Kids #1 and Coffin Bound #1

Preview Reviews for the week of 8/7/2019: Dead End Kids #1 and Coffin Bound #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.  This is where we give advanced glimpses at some of the comics that will be coming out this Wednesday.

A reminder for you. Here at PopCultureSquad, we are decidedly Anti-Spoiler.  We feel that ruining someone’s experience with something for the sake of getting a scoop or clicks is the wrong thing to do. Therefore, we have decided to publish this column, as necessary, with mostly spoiler-free reviews of upcoming issues.  Hopefully, the information that we share with you will increase your excitement for these books.

This week we have TWO preview comics. The first is the debut of Dead End Kids by Frank Gogol and Nenad Cvitcanin, published by Source Point Press. The second book is the premiere issue of Coffin Bound by Dan Watters and Dani from Image Comics. Both of these books have been eagerly anticipated and are featured in our New Number Ones column for August.

You can find Dead End Kids and Coffin Bound at your LCS on August 7, 2019.

Continue reading “Preview Reviews for the week of 8/7/2019: Dead End Kids #1 and Coffin Bound #1”

Everything We Read This Week – 07/31/2019

Everything We Read This Week – 07/31/2019

Welcome back to Everything We Read This Week. This is the place that we make our weekly trip through this week’s pull-list. It features mostly spoiler-free brief analysis and commentary of each book.

This week was a Fifth Wednesday, and therefore DC had a very reduced publication list. The rest of the publishers also had a reduced slate. Despite that, we were able to read some excellent comics by a variety of publishers. Some important series began, and we have the reviews for you. Find the comics you like and remember, Read More Comics!!

We reviewed books from DC, Marvel, Vault, Abstract Studio, Dark Horse, Valiant, and AfterShock Comics this week. As always, we hope you might find what we say interesting enough to try some of these comics. Don’t forget we welcome comments on these and any other comics that you read. Feel free to leave a comment and get the conversation moving.

Also, Don’t forget to check our hotlist of new books debuting this month over here. You will see books that we were looking forward to with the designation Hot #1 by them. There are a few of them out this week, and they are really good.

DISCLAIMER: 

There is a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously as everyone gets their own impressions of art. These ratings are just to give our readers an idea of what we thought of the book, and they will be on the generous side normally. So don’t expect to see a lot of 1 Stars. After all, it’s not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.

The rating system is as follows:

Great

 Good

 OK

 Not Good

 

And here are the books we read in alphabetical order:

Continue reading “Everything We Read This Week – 07/31/2019”

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in August 2019

New Number Ones: Comics Coming in August 2019

Welcome back to New Number Ones!!

Here, we give our readers a preview of the new comic book series that we are looking forward to each month. We have compiled an alphabetical list with cover art and the official solicitation text from PREVIEWSworld. Look for our PCS NOTES below where we just have to tell you some more about the new comic in question.

There are a ton of new series of interest starting in August. Most of these are creator-owned new series which make them extra special. DC is missing from this list but September appears to be a good month for them. In the meantime, we are presenting a slate of new books from a wide variety of publishers. Some of our favorite comic book talents are bringing us some of these new series.

We hope you will take a look and think about giving these a try. We will bring you reviews of most of these debut issues as they come out, and don’t forget to use the comments section to let us know what you think of this list.

Continue reading “New Number Ones: Comics Coming in August 2019”