All posts by The Overseer

Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

Image Comics Brings ‘We Stand on Guard’ to the Masses in May


Brian K. Vaughan has, as the kids say, the skills to pay the bills. The man can write, and that means when he’s tapped to release a new book, you should really, really be paying attention.

So open your eyes, because, with the assistance of artist Steve Skroce, Vaughan will be bringing the new military thriller, We Stand on Guard to the fanatics of the world in May!

Read on for more info from the official press release:

New York Times bestselling and multiple Eisner-award winning writer Brian K. Vaughan (SAGA, PAPER GIRLS, PRIVATE EYE) and legendary storyboard artist Steve Skroce’s WE STAND ON GUARD’s jaw-dropping military thriller will be collected for the first time into a deluxe hardcover edition—which will include original sketches and other never-before-seen extras—available this May.

 

Set in a future where a heroic band of Canadian civilians must defend their homeland from invasion by the United States, WE STAND ON GUARD launched to critical acclaim and blends the episodic up-tempo pacing of Y the Last Man with an invasion story full of suspense and action.

 

WE STAND ON GUARD Deluxe Hardcover (ISBN: 978-1-63215-702-7) collects the complete series, issues 1-6, and hits comic book stores on Wednesday, May 4th and bookstores on Tuesday, May 10th, and will be available for $24.99.

 

It can be ordered by retailers from Diamond Book Distributors with Diamond code FEB160645. It can be preordered now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, and Indigo.

 

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Comixology is Running an Awesome Sale TODAY on Star Wars Comics!


As a huge fan of Comixology, one of the greatest digital comic retailers in existence (reliable, great customer service, user-friendly reader/purchase options and a staggering selection), we wanted to share news of a sale that’s going to have Star Wars fans attempting acrobatics while wielding their deadly light sabers.

For a limited time you can grab a whole slew of Star Wars titles for 50-percent off.

That’s a mighty fine deal! With nearly 50 titles on sale for half price, you really don’t want to snooze on this opportunity!

You’ve only got today to capitalize on such a deal, so don’t hesitate, beef your Star Wars collection up ASAP!

Here’s a direct link that’s going to make your day.

Star Wars fanatics, celebrate!

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Deadpool and The 10 Greatest Comic Book Movies in History


Seeing as Deadpool is still a pretty new release, I don’t want to hit you with too many spoilers. But I will tell you that Ryan Reynolds was most certainly born to play the role of Wade Wilson AKA merc extraordinaire, Deadpool. This isn’t just action packed, it pulls no punches in regards to intensity, hurling about obscenities and engaging in intense violence like it’s all good for our health. And Deadpool, let me tell you, is one funny dude. You think his punchlines work wonders on page? Wait until you hear them on screen, delivered with spunk and edge.

Yes, Deadpool is an excellent comic book adaptation. And, after another watch or two, the movie just might crawl its way into my top 10. Right now the decision to include it feels a little premature. Deadpool hasn’t yet passed the longevity test, though I see no reason why it won’t live on in my memory and earn a place in my collection.

It’s an awesome flick. But these are 10 more awesome flicks, each more than worthy of elite branding.

10 Hellboy: Easily one of the most underrated comic book adaptations in existence, Guillermo del Toro did Mike Mignola’s brilliant creation justice like no other could have. This one is loaded with action, jaw dropping visuals and wicked creature designs, but at the end of the day it’s Hellboy’s (Ron Perlman) charisma that carries the flick. Insanely good comic adaptation.

09 Batman: Michael Keaton always felt like the greatest Batman, until Christian Bale came along and stole the franchise show. But that can’t erase Keaton’s success, and it doesn’t change the fact that Tim Burton’s gloomy take on the discreet crusader of Gotham City was excellent. It was the first time that Batman took to the screen as a genuinely dark character, and it isn’t going to forgotten anytime soon.

08 Superman IV: The first Superman film to feature Christopher Reeves in the titular role was great. It was memorable to say the least, and the second movie rocked thanks to General Zod’s presence. But Part IV was the one that truly pulled the hearts out of the chests of fans. It featured Superman in his first lengthy one-on-one superhuman showdown. Nuclear Man rocked, Lex Luthor was fantastic (thanks to Gene Hackman), and Superman duked it out like never before. A great film, despite the flaws.

07 30 Days of Night: I told you Hellboy was underrated? This is the one comic book adaptation that trumps it in the neglect department. I think a bit part of that comes in the fact that a surpring amount of fans don’t realize the story is based on a comic book. No matter, really, as 30 Days of Night was a special film that represented comic books and the horror genre in dazzling fashion. It’s creative, it’s intense and it’s aesthetically genius! And come on, holy hell at those disturbingly graphic decapitations!!

06 Guardians of the Galaxy: As a child, Guardians of the Galaxy wasn’t a book I read. It wasn’t a book my friends read. To be honest, I don’t even recall seeing the book on any shelf. In short, I didn’t know these characters existed. But, in one swift motion James Gunn changed the game and made character like Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket loveable and memorable. The comedy is thick, the action is insane and the movie looks absolutely stellar.

05 300: Another picture that many fail to realize was a comic long before it was a film, Zack Snyder’s visual telling of Frank Miller’s sprawling war epic, 300 turned everyone’s head. Never has CGI looked so remarkable and clean. The image is absurdly convincing, the war is an awe inspiring spectacle, there’re cool monsters and the heroic Spartans elicit true excitement. Gerard Butler was born to play the role of Leonidas and that serves as a major piece of the puzzle that ultimately pushes this one into the realm of mastery.

04 X-Men 2: Still, in my humble opinion, X2 is the finest X-Men film to see release. The truth is, every film in the franchise, sans the third, is a top notch effort But X2 gave us exactly the kind of X-Men movie we needed. The Wolverine vs. Lady Deathstrike war is one of the greatest moments of combat in the entire series of films, which alone ensures this one ranks high. Especially high – as a diehard fan – on this particular list.

03 Spider-Man 2: Some will tell you that Sam Raimi is finest during his moments entangled in Ash Williams’ world. It’s hard to argue against that, but if you’re going to select one pic to rival his Evil Dead/Army of Darkness work, it’s Spider-man 2. While the Green Goblin was an awesome, awesome villain (and still one of my favorite Spidey villains), Doc Ock made for a much more enthralling villain on screen. Of all three of Raimi’s films, the second is most certainly the finest, bringing the action level to its edgiest degree, and keeping the romance just far enough in the background as to not swallow the story, Spider-man was one of the first truly excellent comic book movies.

02 The Avengers: The Avengers was bound to be a slick picture. In fact, it almost had to be. There was no possible way that Marvel or Paramount would risk this one being anything other than a grand slam. Bringing together Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye was just a stunning feat that may never be surpassed in any cinematic stance. We get a conflict worth thinking about and some of the most epic action to ever grace the screen, comic flick or otherwise. I don’t want to gush too much, and Avengers gives us a dozen or so reasons to do just that, but this one definitely earns the nukber two position.

01 Batman Begin/The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises: Some will see this as cheating and some will side with me. See, not only did I have trouble ranking each film in the Dark Knight trilogy related to other films, I had trouble rating the franchise itself. Batman Begins gave us a Batman we’d never seen. Dark Knight gave us the strongest performance in the history of the Batman/Gotham universe (God rest Heath Ledger’s soul) and The Dark Knight Rises saw the on screen birth of the first baddie to genuinely destroy the Batman, Bane. All three are ridiculously well-crafted and mesmerizing movies and they all stand among the greatest films ever made. Therefore, they all get the number one slot!

Got a favorite we failed to include? Let us know!

‘Oddly Normal Volume 1’ Review


You want a relatable book with heart, laughs and conundrums around each and every corner… er, page? You want Oddly Normal, Otis Frampton’s light-hearted, witchy coming of age tale. It’s a quick read, designed for all ages and it’s absolutely stuffed full of charm. Regardless of what you look for in your graphic novels, Oddly Normal will certainly leave you impressed and entertained in equal measure.

The story follows the titular character (yes, Oddly Normal is a name) as she fumbles her way through, first earth, and second, Fignation, the supernatural realm in which her witch of a mother comes from. Her father’s your average human, leaving our little lady a “mixed breed”, incapable of getting along on earth and just as out of place in Fignation.

After a failed birthday party (Oddly isn’t exactly a popular young lady) Oddly loses her temper and wishes her parents would disappear. Her wish comes true, which essentially leaves this awkward 10-year old with no home and no supervision.

Thank the heavens for Grandma, who shows up in the nick of time, ushering Oddly off to Fignation, a world in which – at her mother’s insistence – she would never see, let alone know. While staying with her Grandmother, Oddly is forced through the same routine she so desperately hoped to escape: She’s the new kid in a school full of nasty little boogers who don’t take kindly to strangers.

How will Oddly fair in this brave new world? Well, that’s what the book is truly about. And, that’s what we won’t be spoiling for you!

To call Oddly Normal brilliant is to undersell Frampton’s work – to call it brilliantly addictive and profoundly endearing may be serving a dish more befitting of the man’s accomplishment, as this is one charismatic piece of work. Frampton’s humor is sharp, but not overly complex. He delivers characters we can invest in, and he caps it all off with stunning artwork (just wait until Oddly ends up in Fignation – the book really comes to life).

I’ve spent the last year catching up on my Image titles, and Oddly Normal rests quit high on my favorites list. This book is a little bit horror, a little bit adventure and completely lovable. Every last page,

Order Volume 1 right here.

Rating: 5/5

Oddly Normal

‘Copperhead Volume 1: A New Sheriff in Town’ Review’


Unraveling like a slick extension of Star Wars, Copperhead proves addictive and action-packed in near record time. Readers are immediately thrust into the world of Clara Bronson, a single mother and new sheriff of the mining town, Copperhead. During her first day on the job a dysfunctional family is massacred. This isn’t going to be a peaceful place to live, and there are a number of suspect alien lifeforms meandering about. Sheriff Bronson clearly has her work cut out for her, and little does she know it, but many of the locals are going to make her job a lot harder than it has to be.

As a comic fan that’s always been on the fence about science-fiction comics, I’m more than happy to admit to adoring Copperhead. Jay Faerber’s story isn’t overly complex, which seems to be something of a habit among many writers who dedicate their efforts to the sub-genre. Jay also nurtures the characters long enough to invest – one way or the other – in their existence: we like Clara, we want her to thrive as the sheriff of this dry town. We care about her boy, and her partner in law. We care about Ismael. There are plenty of characters here to despise as well, as that’s the intentional design of their persona.

I’m not all too familiar with Scott Godlewski or his work, but he damn sure impresses in this instance. His ability to craft varying forms of aliens as well as humans so effectively is awesome. The creative balance is there and that’s a sign of a well-rounded artist, as are his abilities to generate convincing backgrounds and settings. Godlewski is a perfect match for Jay Faerber. Their work together feels familiar and atypical simultaneously. Straight-forward visuals and narrative, but not simplified work… that’s what Copperhead offers. As well as a fine escape from the real world, of course.

Order it here.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Flash Comics #1 Review


Remember when Jay Garrick was The Flash? It was about 75 years ago, unless they brought the man back into the realm of The Flash, in which case I missed the memo. Memo missed or not, I did get my hands on the bulk of the original flash run that kicked off in 1940, and while it is admittedly quite dated, it’s loaded with charm.

Gardner Fox penned the first Flash story while Harry Lampert provided the smooth artwork that helped spring The Flash from the page. It was a stellar duo, and the inaugural issue was a serious winner outlining just how Jay obtained his powers of speed. Just a reminder: He spent an evening inhaling the fumes of the gas element of hard water.

Interestingly enough, in the early days Jay Garrick made no attempt at hiding his superhuman speed, in fact, he used it to become a football star and score with the girl of his dreams, Joan. But it isn’t long before the local crime spree catches Jay’s eye, and that’s the moment he decides it’s time to don the wings of Mercury and become The Flash, hero to the city.

We’re also introduced to The Faultless Four in the first issue. A group of evil geniuses who plan to steal a weapon that Joan’s father has developed, the group of course come up short when faced with the powers of The Flash.

When all is said and done the foolishness of the Faultless Four leads to their permanent demise, The Flash saves Joan’s father and, of course wins her affection. Feel good story? No doubt about it!

Rating: 4/5

Fables #1 Review


Welcome to New York City, AKA, Fable Town. That’s right, New York has some secrets to keep and chief among them is the fact that all sorts of creatures that stepped directly from fairytale land now call this metropolis home.

The Beauty and the Beast are accounted for, as are Snow White and that Jack fellow who can’t seem to steer clear of beanstalks, Prince Charming is hanging around… charming the ladies, shall we say. Mr. Wolf is the sheriff of Fable Town… it’s all pretty far-fetched, but it’s also surprisingly fetching. You start reading this book and you’re going to have a tough time putting it down.

Bill Willingham crafts the script and he does an excellent job of creating witty dialogue and lining up an interesting mystery in issue one. Snow White’s wild child sister has gone missing, and her apartment’s not only been ransacked, it’s covered in blood with a message on the wall, written in crimson that reads as follows: No More Happily Ever After.

Solving this mystery should be incredibly interesting. Wolf’s got a suspect in mind early, but with a book as imaginative and gorgeous (did I mention that Lan Medina works the pencil like an absolute wizard? Stunning artwork here!) as Fables, it’s hard to imagine the obvious being the actual. No, I suspect we’ll need a few issues to get to the bottom of this one and find Snow’s sister, be it alive or dead.

I read a lot of comics, and I’ve had a hefty collection of Fables books laying around for some time now. Having finally opened one, I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t swarm all over these gems long ago.

If you’re on the hunt for a book that truly feels like nothing else you’re currently reading, you’re on the hunt for Fables. This is creativity at its absolute finest and the possibilities feel just about limitless. Just pick up an issue. This book will leave you craving more before you even wrap a single issue.

Rating: 5/5

Joker’s Asylum #1: The Joker Review


A fine read if ever there was one, Joker’s Asylum 1: The Joker sees the titular character hijack a televised game show. As you would expect, if you lose the Joker’s game, you don’t go home empty handed, you go home in a body bag.

What separates this book from many others is the moral battle between two television techs. We bear witness to an awesome feud as these two share completely opposing views. On one hand we’ve got a heartless bastard of an exec who wants the Joker show to be televised, because it’s got viewership through the roof, and on the other side of this quarrel we’ve got a sensible woman who doesn’t care to see innocent human beings slaughtered

In a way, this relationship acts as a mirror to the relationship shared by the Joker and his longtime nemesis Batman. And that multi-layered story approach (there’s a superb twist to the tale, which I won’t spoil) is brilliant. Hats go off to Arvid Nelson, who pens this engrossing tale.

We never truly get an explosive battle between The Bat and The Joker, but it’s not necessary, and it’s now what this one is about. The first book in the Joker’s Asylum run is a social statement of the grandest kind, and if you read the book, thinking out each of the Joker’s steps, you may just find yourself feeling slightly appalled at all of us “normal” folk.

Again, nothing but respect Nelson, and Alex Sanchez gets a warm e-embrace from me, having crafted a schizophrenic image that fits the Joker to perfection.

This is must read material!

Rating: 4.5/5

Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez Journey To The ‘Darkside’ This June


Can’t get enough of Joe Hill’s work? How about the insanely talented Gabriel Rodriguez?

Well, fret not. Soon you’ll see these two join forces to bring something amazing to readers: an entirely new rendition of Tales from the Darkside!

Read on from the Press Release:

Locke & Key fans will have reason to celebrate this summer when Joe Hill (NOS4A2, Wraith) and Gabriel Rodríguez (Onyx) unleash their latest horror series on the world. Tales from the Darkside sees the Eisner Award-winning team reunite on a comic-book revival of the horror anthology TV series of the same name.

The four-issue series will feature Hill’s re-imagining of Tales for a contemporary take on the cult classic. Structured to have the scope of Locke & Key while exploring a vast, underlying mythology, Tales aims to unfold a cohesive universe made up of each individual issue. According to the creative team, these stories will draw inspiration from the TV series that it has spawned from while also taking a meta approach to the material.

Hill elaborated further on what his vision for the series is and what fans can expect from the too-good-for-TV story structure:

“This is the show that could’ve been,” says Hill. “The original Tales from the Darkside was a fun, bleak little spin on the Twilight Zone style anthology. My idea is to give readers a little more. Every story is meant to stand alone, but gradually, you will come to see how they all connect, to tell a single larger story.”

While Rodríguez will provide cover art for the series, joining the team will be Charles P. Wilson III (The Wraith) who will contribute variant covers.

“The universe that Joe is building here is wholly unique while still doing justice to the original show,” said Tales from the Darkside editor Michael Benedetto. “And having Gabriel collaborating with him again is the best we could have possibly hoped for. These guys have a proven track record, and this series will only serve to build on their reputations as excellent storytellers and masters of horror and suspense.”

Prepare to enter the ‘Darkside’ this June at your local comic shop – plenty of time to get caught up on Locke & Key before then!

Tales from the Darkside