What I thought of Titans: Rebirth #1

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The Teen Titans, or Titans are BACK!!! Sit down, control that excitement for a second as DC’s Rebirth even trundles on as it absorbs Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons Watchmen into the regular DC Universe in an event that won’t be matched until the next big DC event. This issue by writer Dan Abnett and artist Brett Booth picks up the story of Kid Flash readjusting to the world after returning in DC Universe: Rebirth #1. 

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Wally West is being slowly remembered by those he meets and fight scenes erupt in this superhero-by-numbers tale from Dan Abnett, who at one time, was a decent writer, but anyhow, after some fairly dull pages of people fighting, Wally gets the rest of the Titans to remember him because of the Speed Force, something now used by writers to get themselves out of any hole they need.titansrebirth2

Wally explains to his mates that someone stole a decade of their lives, and the others suggest a Mister Twister as the culprit even though he sounds like a sexual deviant as opposed to a cosmic villain.

So Wally explains the person that stole ten years of his life is coming back to do it again and after talking for ages in some exceptionally average pages of art they decide to take the fight to them, but we know it’s Dr Manhattan from Watchmen, The one thing that becomes clear here is that DC are building up to a Big Revelation not to mention the horror of a Big Fight against Dr Manhattan is looming and that’d be horrendous.

Titans: Rebirth is a thin read. It’s an introduction to a new series that may or may not be fun, but the entire thing is just dull. It really is corporate superhero comics by numbers with no joy. Yes, there’s love for the characters there but its all so boring. This ultimately is just another cog in the wheel and it shows.

What I thought of Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #5

Thoughts about #1#2#3 and #4.

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At the end of last issue the aliens are back and wiping out the British army, not to mention trying to kill Alph and Fawkes who are running for their lives.

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Only problem is that they’re not facing one alien this time, they’re facing many, many more and they only have one machine gun with two spare magazines left, and that’s not going to hold the machines off.

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As for Clive and the army reinforcements are busy waiting for their own reinforcements….

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Abnett and Culbard set things up for an action packed climax to this second mini-series, but there’s an increasing body count not to mention an increased amount of alien invaders for the might of the imperial British army to face down. Abnett keeps the pace tight to keep the tension going, and Culbard turns in some great work as things go from bad to worse for our anthropomorphic heroes.

Next issue is the last of this series. It’s got a great set up and I hope it delivers…

What I thought of Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #4

Thoughts about #1#2 and #3.

WildsEndenemywithin-4At the end of the last issue, the British army had been led to the alien landing site by Mr. Fawkes where they discovered they were in a very, very bad situation indeed but before we find out the state of Fawkes and his group, we’re brought up to speed with the others.

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Back at the landing site it seems things are indeed getting worse as the landing sites look as if they’ve been around for years, as opposed to a few days as everyone assumes.

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We also have a little bit more information about Clive and his past fighting in Britain’s wars.

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Meanwhile the army have managed to open up the entrances to the alien craft and make their entry, just as Clive and Laidlaw manage to convince the army to let them join the reinforcements to join the soldiers at the landing site. Unfortunately the shit hits the fan…..

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The great thing about this series is that it’s essentially an action/adventure story, but this series has been about paranoia, tension not to mention some much needed character building, but by the end of this issue Abnett pulls it back to being a pretty enjoyable, not to mention thrilling, action/adventure story and that’s great because Wild’s End is a great concept and great fun.

Next issue though the shit has hit the fan. What’s going to happen to our heroes?

What I thought of Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #3

Thoughts about #1 and #2.

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At the end of last issue Clive had been shot trying to escape, Susan and Peter escaped the British army prison and Cornfelt is struggling with the smack he took and is trying to explain himself to the British military commander.

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As for Alph and Fawkes they’ve led the army to the point where the aliens first landed to see what’s still there while having the odd bit of banter with the army in the process.

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Susan and Peter discover not just where the rest of the villagers are, but Susan makes a surprising discovery about Clive that changes her opinion of him, and as for Fawkes, he’s still being Fawkes and trying to make an escape if he can but has led the army to the place where his friend was murdered by the invaders.

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By the end of this issue the paranoia of previous issues has been replaced with some serious tension as the army (or at least a small part of it) finally realises the scale of what it’s up against, not to mention they finally see part of what it can do.

I love the Wild’s End concept partly because of the original way it’s telling a possibly tedious story, and for the fact that whenever the story seems to be lagging a wee bit writer Dan Abnett ups the stakes for our characters and by the end of this issue, the stakes are well and truly upped so roll on next issue to see how they get out of the situation they’re in….

What I thought of Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #2

Thoughts about #1.

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We pick this issue up with Clive being questioned by the pair of science fiction writers we met in the first issue of this splendid twist on the alien invasion story by Dan Abnett.

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There’s a nice growing sense or paranoia in these pages as the survivors of the first series are question one by one, and there’s also a nice echo of the paranoia over things like the Iraq War, not to mention the callous insensitivity of the the security services.

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All throughout the questioning the survivors keep making the point the invaders could come back at any moment, or indeed, there could be more coming to attack them and they’d not even notice it. Sadly for them, this is the case.

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After eventually deciding to let Fawkes the poacher let an army expedition to the landing site, the others take the opportunity to make their escape, not before they encounter Cornfelt who apart from being Susan’s ex-husband has also been detained by the military after realising he was lying about who exactly wrote his books. In fact his ex-wife did.

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This issue really makes it clear that the threat isn’t just alien, but that the paranoia is building up slowly to panic and that nothing good is going to come to it, not to mention our main main cast face an uncertain fate at the hands of the British military and the invaders….

What I thought of Wild’s End: The Enemy Within #1

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I thoroughly enjoyed the first series of Wild’s End, and this second series takes up just after the end of that first series. The BOOM! Studios blurb for the second series explains where this series will go while being hilariously badly written and hyperbolic to the point of satire.

What’s to Love: The first Wild’s End miniseries kept us in constant suspense with its unlikely mash-up of War of the Worlds and The Wind in the Willows. We’re holding our collective breaths once again as author Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) and illustrator I.N.J. Culbard (The King in Yellow) are set to play with the paranoia and “enemy amongst us” conspiracy theories prevalent in stories we love like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The X-Files. What It Is: As Clive, Susan, Fawkes, and the other survivors of the alien invasion of Lower Crowchurch try to cope with what just happened to their small town, the military arrives in an attempt to cover up the “incident.” Town residents are immediately detained, questioned, and treated with suspicion. Are they alien spies, collaborators, sympathizers? Clive and the rest will need to escape imprisonment if they’re to get the word out and warn the rest of the world in case the aliens return.

Phew!

Anyhow, this issue starts with a flashback from Clive onboard a British navy ship when A Very Bad Thing happens which explains the trauma he’s experienced. Meanwhile a conference is assembling with writers of scientific fiction to presumably discuss the alien invasion of the first series.

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This develops into a discussion about science fiction versus the more romantic, space opera-esque style of SF and it gets a bit hardcore…

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These are some beautifully done pages by Abnett and Culbard with the facial expressions of both characters being an absolute joy. This is of course the sort of argument that’s been going on in science fiction since the very beginning and it’s nice to see it dealt with here in such an effective way, not to mention it’s also the case we know there’s alien monsters from another world invading Earth as we’ve seen them in the first series. We know that in this world, the more romantic SF of alien worlds and the invaders from them is real.

Confelt doesn’t quite react as you’d think he would.

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Once the situation is explained, both men are told they’re there to help the army work out just what is going on as this is obviously well outside the British armed forces frame of reference.

As for the survivors of the invasion they’re under army guard and are getting a tad fed up of being locked up, though there’s a bit of, I presume, foreshadowing.

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Wild’s End: The Enemy Within is a different type of series to the first one. The alien threat is still there but no aliens appear in this issue, but there is a lot of slow building panic that here is the British armed forces, at that time one of the most powerful on the planet and they haven’t got a clue what to do. So they presume the survivors might be shape-shifting aliens and paranoia creeps in.

Dan Abnett’s script is tight and crisp, while I.N.J. Culbard’s art is superb, especially in capturing the character just by how they stand, not to mention the way their facial expressions are captured which sounds easy, but in an anthropomorphic world that’s incredibly hard to make a dog, or a pig, look and feel human yet Culbard manages it well while making it clear these are  anthropomorphic creations.

It’s nice little comic and the rest of the series promises much and I hope they deliver on this splendid first issue.

What I thought of Wild’s End #6

Thoughts about #1#2#3#4 and #5.

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I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series and I’m glad to say this final issue doesn’t disappoint at all as it hits the ground running from the off as our little group try their best to stop the aliens from gaining on them and killing them, and the rest of the planet.

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The situation is clearly desperate but little acts of heroism and defiance make it seem like our heroes might actually defeat this superior invading force.

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Do they succeed? Do all of them survive? Is it open for a sequel?

I’m not answering any of those questions but I will say a sequel could happen if I assume there’s a market for it, and if Abnett and Culbard maintain this quality then I’d gladly see one happen.

Wild’s End has been a interesting experiment in telling a old type of alien invasion story in a way that’s not been done before and for that the creators and publishers need to be applauded for not just cranking out Standard Adventure Comic #1 and actually trying something away from the norm. As I’ve said before, this doesn’t change the face of the medium but it’s been a refreshingly fun and different read in a crowded market that often has titles that promise much but deliver little to nothing.

I look forward to it’s possible return….

What I thought of Wild’s End #5

Thoughts about #1#2#3 and #4.

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The second last issue of Abnett and Culbard’s highly entertaining alien invasion story starts with our main characters under serious threat as the aliens become even more dangerous.

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After narrowly escaping death our crew decide to held to Leechpool, where the intention is to get a boat or a punt to escape the aliens and warn the world about what’s coming, but as we’ve seen so far in Wild’s End, this is easier said than done. Luck holds out for them and they manage to find a punt and head on their way.

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This has been an exciting little adventure that although it tries hard to maintain a sense of verisimilitude, sometimes slips as characters use late  20th century slang which does take me out of the comic. That aside, Wild’s End is a great adventure comic that’s coming to a hopefully satisfying climax though I do struggle as to how everything is to get wrapped up in one last issue.

What I thought of Wild’s End #4

Thoughts about #1#2 and #3.

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This issue of Wild’s End has a simply lovely cover by I.N.J Culbard whose art in this series has been one of the main reasons it’s worked so well. What’s also helped is the fine script by Dan Abnett which mixes Victorian valour with some 21st century sensibilities. We pick this issue with our group of characters trying to escape the alien invaders and run into Mr. Fawkes who draws up Clive’s military expertise to help him with his attack on these aliens.

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The group manage to evade the aliens in order to head towards Upper Deeping, a nearby village in the hope of finding a telephone to alert the authorities to get some help. Sadly the aliens get there before they do and as all British people would do in an emergency, they head to the pub.

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This is a wonderful little comics which really deserves more praise for spinning a Boy’s Own adventure on the surface, but really has more lairs to it than that. For one it’s not advisable to become attached to characters as they may not be around for long, and for another it’s not a story of square jawed heroes fighting aliens but ordinary people trying hard to find out what’s happening to them at a time when the idea of alien invaders was utterly insane. This really is a fine comic and I’d advise picking this up before the the trade collection.

What I thought of Wild’s End #3

Thoughts about #1 and #2.

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After last issue’s shocking death, this issue opens with Clive and his companions working out that something very, very wrong is going on and they’re unable to deal with it by themselves, so they attempt to escape from whatever this is, though we the reader know this is an alien invasion.

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Much of this issue is the group trying to escape, then outrun the alien creature that’s killed two of their fellow villagers so far, and it’s also a chance for some character building as we find out more about our cast in some nice little character moments not to mention it’s a chance to enjoy some lovely art.

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The writer, Dan Abnett, has already shown that as a reader we shouldn’t become complacent about what characters will survive this murderous alien invader, nor should we be too shocked when the group come across what we know is a crop circle.

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Wild’s End is a cracking little adventure comic. As I’ve said previously, it’s not going to change the face of comics, nor does it try but it presents a familiar story in such a new way while dropping in surprises like the crop circle that I can’t help but enjoy the thing for the romp it is.