“In every generation, there is a chosen one…”
In less than 10 words, I am drawn back into a TV series that I have loved for more than a decade. Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with the opportunity to re-visit the Hellmouth with the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus (Season 8 Volume 2). This Omnibus collects volumes #21-40 from Dark Horse Books.
I have had my eye on The Sheriff of Babylon for a while, and thanks to Penguin Random House Canada, I’ve been given the chance to final read this great story. The Sheriff of Babylon collect Sheriff of Babylon #1-12 from DC-Vertigo. Check out my full review.
Review by: Matt Larose
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Scot Eaton, Brad Walker and Philippe Briones
DC Universe has now reached an end of an era with the New 52 wrapping up and entering the new phase of comics titled Rebirth. Everyone is beginning their relaunches starting at issue #0 and moving quite quickly into trade paperback format, today I get the privilege of reviewing one of the first with Aquaman. A lot of people give Aquaman grief mainly because they see him as the typical under water guy who talks to fish, sorry folks but if you actually took the time to read his books before passing judgements you’d realize that you’d be pretty wrong, I would know because I used to be one of those people. I started my journey with Aquaman while working at a local comic shop and got dared to try and read volume 1 from the New 52 storyline, my coworker at the time was and will always be an Aquaman fan so I took the dare. Man was I ever glad to be wrong because it was an amazing read and an incredible run for Aquaman. But now that that run is over with we get to start over, not going to lie, I’m quite excited to see where this title goes.
We begin this new tale exactly where the last volume of New 52 leaves off, Aquaman and Mera are pretty much trying to create peace between our society and Atlantis, who knew this task would be tricky, right? Not only do they find trouble with the surface world but there are a lot of citizens of Atlantis, even terrorist groups, that totally disagree with Aquaman when it comes to peace. It was interesting to see the differences and similarities between both cultures over this touchy subject. Differences were obviously how the world was treating the oceans as well as how society in general should be, but similarities in how both societies hated each other but also in how they both wanted change. To say that a lot of opinions were being thrown around would be a total understatement, but that’s what made this story interesting.
One thing I enjoy about relaunches in comics is the fact that characters get brought back in big ways, for this storyline one of my favourite villains was brought back and I couldn’t have been happier, that’s right folks one of our big baddies is back and goes by the name Black Manta! Now for those reading this and not knowing anything about this title or this particular character in general do not fear because in this story you get a brief history on both Aquaman and Black Manta and as to why they are hated foes, and I got to tell you it’s a pretty interesting tale to read. I loved seeing this character returning to the title, I find that Black Manta is a key player whenever telling any tale from Aquaman, he may have a ridiculous costume (depending on the artist) but he is a great villain and deserves some respect for that.
Story wise, it felt like I was watching an episode of a TV series, seeing as how i had just previously finished the last volume of the New 52 run. This volume pretty much picks up the pieces of the previous story line and just starts a new one. The ending of the book didn’t feel like much of an ending but that’s what I found intriguing. The way this volume ended made me want to read the next volume immediately because it didn’t have that finishing touch to it.
Now here’s my favourite part of this review, the art. In this volume we had artists Scot Eaton, Brad Walker and Philippe Briones. I enjoyed the art in this book very much it’s just for me I get pretty picky, I like when a story stays with one artist in general. I found the work of Scot Eaton to be what was needed in this book, detailed enough with facial expressions and not over detailing on say hair or Aquaman’s armour or clothing. Not to mention the covers for this book were very well done by Brad Walker, my favourite one being the issue with the cover of just Aquaman’s hands in handcuffs.
All in all I would have to say that this was a great story from beginning to end and that Aquaman does deserve a lot more respect than what he gets from the typical comic fan. He’s not just the guy who talks to fish, trust me if you read this book you get to see him go toe to toe with a big gun and he says a lot to them that makes you respect the man just a little bit more. So I say unto you good reader, find volume 1 of Aquaman and have a look see and maybe, just maybe you’ll break that chain of Aquaman hate like I did.
Written by Stephen Hopkins
Our copy of Scooby Apocalypse was provided to us for review by Penguin Random House Canada.
Scooby Apocalypse Volume 1
Published by DC Comics
I always found that Scooby Doo was kind of a hard pill to swallow, like, where does the gang get their money from? Why are there so many abandoned, haunted amusement parks? Why even keep Shaggy around? He literally doesn’t do anything but be scared and eat questionable food. So when I found out about Scooby Apocalypse I just had to see where they were going with it, and zoinks did they ever go for it.
Scooby Apocalypse brings us a new origin story for the crew of the Mystery Machine and gives each member of the gang a new background to work from. Daphne is a guerrilla journalist with Freddy playing her man slave/camera man, Velma is a high ranking scientist at a giant multinational corporation, Shaggy, a bearded hipster dog trainer, and of course Scooby Doo, the failed product of a government smart dog program.
The expository issues cover all the introductions and tell us how Velma has essentially helped in bringing about the end of the world, and ends up recruiting the rest of the gang to help her stop it… Which is weird because she’s a scientist, and she picked a journalist obsessed with ratings and getting her own show, her subservient cameraman, and a hip dog trainer and his rejected science project buddy to assist her. Smort!
As things progress we see the gang get back into the swing of things as the story jumps forward into full on apocalyptic mayhem, how they went from rag tag group of random people to armoured monster combatants is a bit of a mystery but hey, there’s a talking dog that wears a saiyan scouter to send people emoji’s so… let’s not worry about logistics here. We get plenty of familiar Scooby tropes throughout the book and even a reimagined mystery machine, replacing the old psychedelic VW bus with an Armored LAV. This book is for fun people, not anyone who wants to sneer at a lack of respect for the source material.
The art is well done for the most part with everyone looking more or less like themselves and keeping to the familiar colour schemes of each character, Velma is definitely the least changed character, while Shaggy is just…. Well he’s hipster Shaggy. Hipster Shaggy might be Produce Pete’s new nickname… Scooby is handled well for the most part as well and Freddy is as forgettable as ever (in a good way).
All in all, this is a very fun read and a good use of these classic characters, the story is as sound as literally any other Scooby Doo story and it’s pretty to look at, although some panels are a little too busy for my liking. The amazing “after credits issue” included at the end of this book will definitely get a few people excited about the return of a much beloved character from the show. If you’re like me and you like Scooby Doo and apocalyptic tales, then Scooby Apocalypse might just scratch an itch for you.
Future Quest vol. 1 Review
By: Ryan Arden
Would like to start by thanking Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with the chance to read Future Quest vol. 1.
Future Quest vol. 1 is a interesting and exciting introduction to the world that these classic cartoon characters exist in. I wasn’t familiar with most of the characters featured in this story. I knew who some of them were through pop-culture references and shows like Space Ghost: Coast to Coast (not the best background). Nevertheless I thought it was a fun story, and I was filled with nostalgia for the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons that I am familiar with and grew up watching on Saturday mornings like The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Scooby Doo.
Vortexes are opening up all over the globe and bringing different times and dimensions together. While out looking for more of these vortexes for Dr. Quest, his sons Jonny and Hadji run into F.E.A.R who are also looking into these anomalies as well. With the coming of this vortex we also get introduced to Space Ghost, who appears to have been ripped away from something big. Though we only get a small glimpse of him with the other characters, we get to see something bigger might be coming. This is an exciting chapter and introduction to these characters as they come together to face impending danger.
This was a great introduction to the characters and this collection of classic universes that are being thrust together. Jeff Parker does a great job fleshing out the world in a way that won’t leave you wondering who’s who, or feeling overwhelmed with exposition and unnecessary details. The story is exciting, fun, and, easy to follow. At times it felt a little too light hearted, but the sense of danger isn’t completely lost. The storytelling is nicely complemented by the art of Evan Shaner who does a good job making this story come to life. The character designs are very clean and nostalgic.
If you were a fan of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons, or want to start something new to jump right into, this might be a good choice for you. There’s plenty to get lost with and enjoy, especially if you have an itch for nostalgia. There are only a few moments or characters that came up just a little short for me, those being The Herculoids and The Impossibles introductions that didn’t click for me. However that didn’t take me out of the story. I would recommend Future Quest vol. 1 if any of those points hit for you. I know i’m looking forward to reading more.
The guys talk about the new Xmen TV shows coming out soon, the new trailer for Logan and then try valiantly to define what superheroes and superhero comics really are.
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The guys catch up after a short hiatus from recording. Everyone checks in at the halfway point through winter, Arden’s stomach argues with him, and surprise surprise Suicide Squad still isn’t a very good movie. Beers!
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Arden, Hopkins, Jarrett, and Produce Pete read into “Y: The Last Man” Vol 1 in this RTR episode – an epic story set in a borderline post-apocalyptic (pete-pocalyptic?) world in which all males have died except for Yorrick Brown and his monkey Ampersand.