It’s time for the Question of the Day!! This one is for all the gamers out there.
Gamers are used to both winning and
losing, but 7 years ago today they suffered a particularly devastating
loss. What was this loss?
SPIDER-GWEN #1 — BOOK OF THE WEEK!
This book has a lot of advance buzz thanks to the Spider-verse storyline that ran through the Spidey books. Late to the party, I haven’t red those books so this first issue is my introduction to the character. When it was picked up for review, there were many doubts and reservations I had. Despite knowing where she came from, there was a certain amount of trepidation regarding the return of Gwen Stacey.
The first issue did a lot to alleviate those concerns, however. For the most part, this character feels like the Peter Parker we’ve all known and loved–hated by Jameson, hated by the city (s)he’s protecting, and obstacle after obstacle getting in the way of doing what’s right. Like most alternate universe books, of course part of the fun is seeing where familiar characters lie in this world. My concern with that, as with all alternate reality books, is that it will depend too much on that as a gimmick. While the first issue does use it, it feels like it’s more to set up future storylines than it is to be an “Oh, look who just showed up” affair. So, at this point, the benefit of the doubt will be given.
As for the art, for some reason it is reminiscent of Ryan Ottley to me. Simple, but it gets the emotions and expressions just right. It feels dynamic without being over-wrought. The first issue shows a ton of potential. Don’t miss out on what’s sure to be one of the hottest books of the year.
John’s pick of the week.
THEY’RE NOT LIKE US # 1 – 3
There is a mentor collecting the super-powered forgotten and mistreated, teaching them how to use their abilities. There are a lot of parallels that can be drawn to the X-Men. But what if Charles Xavier targeted the most vulnerable, the ones who could be coerced into doing acts that other people wouldn’t be capable of? Make no mistake about it–this is NOT the X-Men.
To be sure, this book isn’t going to be for everyone. If you like your superheroes clearly on the side of good, fighting for eternal ideas of righteousness, this isn’t going to be the book for you. Deeply rooted in moral relativism, there is a question that permeates the book as to what right and wrong even is.
That being said, the story is strong, showing the doubts of their newest recruit Syd as The Voice (the Professor X of this group) introduces her to this new world. Having been shuffled from hospital to hospital, she’s willing to listen to this mysterious benefactor, something the reader understands even in the few brief moments we are introduced to her.
The art is a little shaky in spots, but fits the feel of the book. It isn’t something that will bowl a person over, but it is serviceable for the story being told.
If you’ve wanted a darker version of the X-Men, some might even say a more modern take, then this is one you may want to check out. The story is brisk and poses some questions that and ordeals that are different from the standard superhero fare.
Mike’s pick of the last few months!
STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #1 – 2
Marvel is handling their new property Star Wars as one would expect–as an important property that deserves great writing and great art. While there are long-term fans of the expanded universe who will hate what has been discarded and changed, everything about Marvel’s assumption of the reins feels cinematic and impressive.
In this series, Vader is dealing with his deteriorating power base after Episode IV, something he is not going to take lying down. Without giving too much away, the first two issues demonstrate who Vader is, what he is willing to do to hold onto his power, and where his allegiances lie. The first issue has a great exchange with Jabba the Hutt.
Even better than that scene, however, is the fact writer Kieron Gillen imbues the character with qualities which make us sympathetic to his plight, despite him being on the wrong side. We care about what is happening to him, not just because of our familiarity with the story, but because we get to know his inner workings.
The art is amazing as it is supplied by Salvador Larroca. Every panel feels as though it were ripped from a movie we were deprived of, but have finally received.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, this is a must read–you won’t be disappointed. Matt loves what Marvel has done with the property and we’re all excited to find out what happens next.
We will be posting reviews of the books we read each week. We only write reviews of books we like or feel that others will like. There are enough negative reviews online, so we choose to stay positive here. We hope you understand and like the approach.
THOR ANNUAL #1
Three separate stories fill out the 2015 annual of Thor–one focused on the past, one one the present and one on the future. All three stories are fun reads, even for those who haven’t been following the series recently. Only one, the middle story, focuses on the female Thor.
The first of the stories is set in the future, when the Earth has been wiped clean of life, now used as a reflecting garden for Thor as a result. His birthday is approaching and his grand-daughters, the Girls of Thunder, contemplate what to get him. This was a good story, although it feels like there was a lot of untapped aspects that could have been used to sharpen impact of the story. It’s still a solid read.
Second is one wherein the current Thor takes center stage. The Warriors Three challenge her to prove her worth, doubting that Mjolnir made a mistake in choosing the previous Thor’s successor. Much like the first story, there is a desire for more of the story.
Finally, Thor gets into a drinking contest with Mephisto–what could possibly go wrong? It was a solid comedic bit that played out well on the page.
As a whole, the book is definitely worth its cover price, but the first two stories would have played out better being fleshed out more. Out of all the problems to have with a book, though, this is the one to have. If one wants more, it means that the stories connected. If you’re a fan of Thor, you won’t be disappointed with this book. Definitely not an essential book in terms of the character’s canon, but definitely a worthwhile read.
Verdict: Worth the read.
THE EMPTY #1
The first issue of this book is amazing! From the art to the story, it all blends together seamlessly.
Set in an apocalyptic world, one of the two main characters is a scavenger who helps provide for her village. She’s insistent that they should move along as the roots that are poisoning the land are creating an inhospitable environment. Then things get worse as she comes across a stranger that throws the power structure of the village off-balance.
The characters feel real, each having their traits that bring them to life. With the story, it’s a good buy at its $3.50 price tag. Once the art is included, the price is a steal. Do yourself a favor and follow this book.
Verdict: Highly recommended!
A collection of criminals have banded together in Eden, Wyoming, a small town. While other writers would use this as a springboard for a heist or some master plan, Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill go in the opposite direction. There is an agreement among this group that they will lie low in order to live their lives without the interference of law enforcement officials. The repercussions are severe for those who break that rule, which of course means only one thing…..
The books feels like Twin Peaks in a lot of ways, with odd characters who contribute to the story’s central foundation. It wouldn’t be surprising if the comic was turned into a movie, as there is a cinematic atmosphere.
Verdict: Strongly recommended!
More reviews coming tomorrow.
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 27TH — 6:30 PM — BOOSTER DRAFT
Come in and join the fun! Magic the Gathering booster draft–3 packs for $12 with prizes! Bring a new Magic player to the tournament and get your 3 packs for $10! Show your friends how great gaming at Brainstorm Comics is!
SATURDAY FEBRURY 28TH — 3 PM — TICKET TO RIDE
Never played the game? No problem! We will teach you how to play. Already know how to play? Come into the store and meet other fans of the game. Help us introduce others to the great game. No fees, just fun. All weekend, get 10% off on all board games.
SUNDAY MARCH 1ST — 3 PM — GAME WORKSHOP KILL TEAM
Another KILL TEAM tournament. No fees, but there are prizes. $20 for first place, $10 for second place. All weekend get an additional 10% off our already discounted prices. 200 points. Need further explanation of the rules? Call and ask for Matt or come in and grab a copy of the rules.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY FEBRUARY 27TH THROUGH MARCH 1ST–END OF THE MONTH SALE!
GRAPHIC NOVELS — 20% off cover price!
BOARD GAMES — 10% off!
MAGIC SINGLES — 10% off!
WARHAMMER — 10% off our already discounted prices!
Don’t miss out! Save on all the things you love! Our way of thanking all of you for another great month.
After thirty years, Brainstorm Comics and Gaming wants YOU to help us decide our new logo. Designed by long-term customer Keith Lopez, the four options are below. Leave your comments here or come into the store and share your opinion! You have a few more days to influence the vote. March 1st we are announcing the new logo. So what do you think?