Friday, October 31, 2008

Andrenn's top 25 horror films of all time! part 2

Happy Halloween!

Whoo, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Heads are falling off everywhere and flesh is rotting faster than it takes a car to slam into your face. It’s madness, I tell you. Really, madness this time. Not Sparta. I checked. So I’m all ready to kick some ass and Trick or Treat. I may post a picture of my costume later on, for fun.

But enough of yer damn talk, bring out the guns and turn up the music, the zombies is a comin’!

#13: The Blair Witch Project

One of the most basic aspects to a horror film is to build on suspense, really get a person on the edge of their seat, then release the scare. A lot of movies nowadays overshoot this formula and ruin it, but one of the few good films of our time is Blair Witch Project. The entire film is constant build up, with one hell of an ending. Sure, we don’t see anything supernatural but damned if the build up is nothing short of greatness. Though the first film was boring at times, with an ending like the one we got, it’s easily a great horror flicks for it.

#12: The Thing

The Thing would no doubt be a bit higher on the list if there weren’t so damned many incredible horror films. And while it doesn’t make the top 10, make no mistakes, this is a great horror flick with some great effects and killer suspense. While in some horror movies the build up can lead to frustration, as mentioned previously, similar to Blair Witch, the build up in The Thing is spot on.

#11: Evil Dead 2

Another great memorable classic film, but just not able to break into the top 10 is Evil Dead 2. Now the first one was great and lovable, but 2 just built on that greatness and cranked up the volume to 300. Sam Raimi does some awesome camera work here, and of course Bruce Campbell is great as the always memorable hero Ash. Though he started out humble, now he’s taking the chainsaw to Marvel Zombies and Freddy Krueger. Who would have thought one badass would make it so far.

#10: Nosferatu

There are so many great vampire movies but really, if there I had to suggest the greatest vampire flick of all it wouldn’t be the classic Dracula series from the 30’s or the remake from the 90’s, no, only one film in my opinion has perfectly captured the heart and soul of this horror sub-genre and given the strongest interpretation of the wicked shadow that is a vampire and that, of course, is Nosferatu. Such a chilling and haunting film that excites the mind and haunts the memories, images such as Count Orlock ascending the stares or peering over his victim are iconic images throughout horror. With such a creepy yet spot on scary film, how could anyone not have it in the top 10?

#9: Dawn of the Dead (original)

I had a hard time actually considering Dawn of the Dead as a horror film. Some times, it honestly feels like a damn comedy with some of the hilarious moments. The classic “pie to the face” gets a brilliant twist by adding zombies to that formula. But still, despite some quirky moments, it’s a true horror film to it’s name and was a great flick. The gore is top notch and when considering a top list of horror films, this makes it into the top 10 easily.

#8: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)

This gets my vote as one of the most realistic films ever, beating out Saw and the rest of them. This movie just feels like one giant nightmare where you can feel yourself there as the nightmare happens. It’s rural area so there is nowhere to escape and rarely anyone driving by often to try and get aid from. And the fact that a simple act of kindness to a hitchhiker that damns these poor teens is what really hits home and makes this movie a great film and a must see for any fan of the genre.

#7: Hellbound: Hellraiser 2.

Whenever I have to compare Hellraiser to it’s sequel, it’s an incredibly tough decision. Both a incredibly powerful in their imagery and freaky moments, both stories have the same protagonist whom I like and great villains, but in the end, 2 wins out for overall “What the **** did I just watch?” factor. Seriously, a bed that kills you? How could that not be horror movie gold?

#6: A Nightmare on Elm Street

While later films pretty much sunk the franchise, the first film still stands out as a great movie with some incredible moments. Freddy Krueger was established as one of the top villains of the 80’s and with good reason. His debut film did a great job of confusing, but not to the frustrating level, it’s audience with if the characters where awake or asleep and if they where vulnerable to Freddy’s murderous antics.

Also, can you think of a more terrifying time to be stalked, then in your dreams? When your sleep, you can’t do anything, your just…sleeping, and though you may have some odd form of control in your sleep of your dreams, when the concept of the Nightmare franchise was just starting out, it was a freaky and well received one. So, despite the sequels really taking the fun out of it, the first film is a great time and a must see.

#5: Friday the 13th (original)

Yet another case of “great when it started but ruined by sequels”, Friday the 13th really pushed the image of “camp ground horror” and made it hard for many to go camping following this. What a lot of people seem to forget is that Jason was not the killer, but his mother, Pamela, was the first killer. This revelation still holds weight compared to most movie shock moments, right up there with Darth Vader being Luke’s father.

This movie had some great suspense going for it and was one of those “gorey, but only after the proper build up” films. Something that Saw and Hostel could learn from. Either way though, it’s a great flick and always fun to watch for the season, or before you go camping.

#4: Night of the Living Dead

You want creepy, freaky, insane and dark? This movie practically invented those words and expanded on them more than any film could hope to come close to. While the term “zombie” was already known in the media, Night of the Living Dead really created the popular image of the zombie and shot it into the pop culture.

This film is easily the greatest zombie film ever, it’s got all the elements, people trapped in a house surrounded and whatnot, and lots and lots of zombie carnage. It’s just about all you need to really sell it. But we get more! The rising character tension was great and the build up to the ending is insanely good, this would be #1, if it weren’t for the next 3 films.

#3: The Omen

Once again I point out, build up, horror movies, it’s really good. The Omen is one of those movies that sticks with you long after it’s over and you’ve moved on. It doesn’t simply bring up faith, it brings up your whole trust system. Can you really trust anyone, even a child?

My favorite scene is and forever will be the graveyard scene in which the protagonist discovers the horrifying truth about Damien’s mother, she was a jackal! While it’s not very gory or over the top, it’s got some great suspense and moments that make the skin crawl and it’s a classic for this.

#2: The Exorcist

This film is often regarded as the scariest movie of all time and for good reason. Whereas Omen didn’t show us too much as far as the supernatural is concerned, Exorcist does everything the Omen doesn’t as far as that goes. There are so many bone chilling moments, but my favorite is when we see the Demon’s face flash as the main hero of our story runs towards his mother in a dream sequence. That haunting face has been burned into my mind and if you ever see this movie, you won’t forget the face either.

My only complaint with the Exorcist is it’s ending. While it’s satisfying enough, I felt there was just something left open that the sequels never capitalized on. And with a meh ending, it is made up for with an incredibly ominous opening.

#1: Halloween 1 and 2

Choosing the greatest horror film of all time is no easy task, mind you. And I in no way claim to be an expert in the field that I’ve seen every movie or remember every movie I’ve seen. So I’m sure the #1 slot is different for a lot of people across the spectrum of horror fans, but for me, there is no better than the original Halloween and it’s sequel. Now I know it’s cheating, but really, these might as well be the same film since 2 only takes place seconds after 1. Even in Hellraiser 2 there was a fairly solid gap which made it accessible, but Halloween 1 and 2 might as well be Halloween 1 and drop the 2. Their both incredibly great films and together ,they tell a great story that should have ended here. Some argue that in a weird continuity, 4 and up is all like a “what if the series kept going?”

I myself hate everything after 3, but still acknowledge the others as sequels. though if there where ever a grade A must see rock you to your core horror experience in a film, then the Halloween experience is that. While you can watch these 2 movies separate, I highly suggest you watch them back to back. Both incredible films and even more incredible as a solid story.

Now I feel it is time for some quick Honorable mentions for all the horror fans out there that may be disappointed that their favorites didn’t make the list.

Psycho misses the list mainly because, outside of the shower scene, the film just doesn’t stand the test of time anymore. It’s a great film, but I don’t even feel it’s horror. More psychological and intrigue than horror. Though I mean no disrespect to the film, it is still great.

The birds also missed the mark. I loved this film as a child, but I recently re-watched it and found myself incredibly bored the second time around. Maybe it’s just me but, like Psycho, it’s lost it’s staying power in current times.

An American Werewolf in London is a great flick, but similar to Dawn of the Dead, feels more like a comedy and never really hit the horror mark for me.

Now there are several other films I could mention, but the best way to sum it up is this: There are tons upon tons upon tons of great horror movies out there and nobody has seen them all and nobody’s list of favorites is the same. Mine is my own opinion and my personal favorites, just because I love Halloween doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t have Psycho as their #1. Everyone’s opinions vary and just as I respect others opinions to like other horror movies, I hope other will respect my opinion for favorite horror movies.

With that, I leave you with a simple reminder. Halloween is a day to celebrate everything scary and haunting, use this to your advantage, enjoy it. It can be a day to return to your youth and enjoy days long gone, or create new memories with old friends. Either way, Halloween is a special day that should always be treasured.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Comic Report Card: Marvel Zombies Dead Days

One more day ‘till Halloween, Halloween, one more day ‘till Halloween, Silver Shamrock!

Yes that’s right; it’s one more day ‘till the greatest day of the year…and 2 more days for the Halloween fun to end (The cruel irony). But before we wrap up tomorrow with the top 25 horror film, 13-1, we’ve got one last bit of Comic fun for you. Yet another Comic Report Card on Marvel Zombies: Dead Days. There’s no doubt that Dead Days was very much highly anticipated by the Zombies fanbase, for one, it was the return of Kirkman and Phillips, and a lot of people weren’t happy with the other Prequel, Marvel Zombies vs. Evil Dead.

We’re going to take a quick look and grade the Dead Days one shot that both enlightened, and disappointed Marvel Zombie fans everywhere.

Written: Robert Kirkman

Art: Sean Phillips

Story Comments: The story is fairly simple, picking up From MZ Vs. ED part 2, Spider-man is rushing home to protect MJ and Aunt May. As one would figure, this goes horribly wrong and in true Marvel Zombies fashion, Peter eats the 2 people he loves most in the world.

The opening is actually pretty good and it captures the spirit of the Marvel Zombies franchise, but following this, we soon start to tread water. Everything we where told in Ultimate Fantastic Four as well as Marvel Zombies is repeated here, just in the form of moments between characters. These moments reveal absolutely nothing new or slightly interesting and only do the bare basics of what they set out to do.

To put it best, Marvel Zombies Dead Days is everything we already know, but with pretty and horrific images. It’s nothing new, it’s nothing refreshing, and it’s a giant waste of your time.

Granted, if you want to get into the Marvel Zombies but don’t want to start with the first series, for some odd reason, then pick up the Dead Days one shot (or Hardcover, which we’ll spotlight one day) and you’ll enjoy it. For the rest of us though, it’s reading everything we knew about and saw already.

Really, the only prequel here is the Evil Dead crossover. That was much better in terms of telling the story before the story.

Though I have to admit, there are some nice moments here like seeing Scarlet Spider quickly or the chilling final panel of a close up on Reed Richards but really none of it feels worth the time and effort put into this. We also don’t get an explanation as to what it is about Zombie Sentry that made him a zombie in the first place, and if I recall, we never saw what happened to him. This would have been a great opportunity to show where he went, maybe the zombie heroes killed him or something. I guess we’ll never know.

Art Comments: Sean Phillips is not without error here, but for the most part, his work here is solid. He still has the blotch moments and odd character features, but it’s nowhere near as bad as in the first series. That plus this is where we first saw the jagged shark teethed zombies. Very well done there.

Final Comments: Marvel Zombies Dead Days is a fine read with good art, but unless you’re unfamiliar with the Zombies, it’s a complete waste of time and paper. I suggest you read Marvel Zombies vs. Dead Days as it had much more interesting moments and better character interactions than Dead Days could even hope for.

Score: 5 out of 10

Grade: D

The horror is nearly over. As mentioned earlier, check back tomorrow for the 2nd and final part to the top 25 horror films of all time. I’m not sure when I’ll be posting it, to be honest; with tomorrow being Halloween it’s kind of a busy day for me. I was also hoping to try and get down to the LCS and pick up the Ultimate Spider-man Annual, so I’ll post the top 25 horror as soon as I can before I start tricking and treating.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spawn #185 reviewed!

Welcome to a very special post here at New Age Comics, the long awaited Spawn #185 reviewed! Now I’ve expressed my excitement quite a bit over the months, going all the way back to past #2 here, my first official post outside of the introduction post back in July. For those who haven’t seen them and are interested, here’s a link to them.

My first thoughts on Spawn: Endgame

What I hope to see come Endgame.

Now that we’ve got those out of the way, it’s time for the long awaited issue to be reviewed. An issue so epically anticipated it gets its own post to itself. Now don’t think this is the only I’ve picked up from these last few weeks, those will still be reviewed…but I’ll go into that come end of the review. Now, let’s load those guns because it’s time to review!

Spawn #185

Written: Todd McFarlane and Brian Holguin

Art: Whilce Portacio

Opening Comments: Rarely is any comic outside of Marvel or DC this incredibly well hyped to the point where it reaches the guys like IGN or CBR. McFarlane obviously has some serious confidence in this reboot/continuation. It takes a lot of guts to hype something up so much without fear of alienating readers when they do read it, and it’s not what they where expecting.

But lucky for me, I’m a long time fan and was prepared to either be astounded, or disappointed. While Spawn #185 is a good read and has some wicked art, it doesn’t quite take away the pain of losing David Hine and Brian Holguin, but still, like all healing sessions, it’s a good start.

Story comments: Warning ahead for all of you who don’t want it to be spoiled, to make this review as thorough as I can, I’m going to delve into some key points through the issue. Including the cliff-hanger, so if you don’t want to be spoiled then avert your eyes and run.

The opening pages, as we’ve already seen from an IGN preview weeks ago, continue where #184 left off with Al Simmons ending his trek through Hell. How long it’s been since he started his long walk, we don’t know. And I for one was hoping for some clarity on that side of the story. How long has it been? A day? An hour? A year? It’s nothing important; I just would have liked to know. Clarification would have been nice you know, though it doesn’t ruin the comic.

Spawn does some flash of light and we cut to some hospital patient waking up for the first time in what we’ve established as many years. The sudden change is a little odd, but to be expected with a huge blast then cut moment, and doesn’t reflect similar changes in scenes such as what we’ve seen from Dan Slott in the previous Amazing Spider-man storyline, New Ways to Die.

Following this is a look into some slight back story to patient 47. Since a name has yet to be established for him, we will simply call him 47, or patient 47, for now. Going off of immediate speculation, judging by some of the previews and sketches we’ve seen over the last few months, it’s safe to speculate that 47 will become the next Spawn. That long with his ability to see demons is another nice little hint.

The character himself has little added here other than he’s some kind of important man, the doctors want to study him and some mysterious man in the shadows is interested in him. So interested that he makes a man kill himself for being tied to Patient 47…well it’s Spawn so I can follow.

Let us jump a bit to the end, because honestly, it’s where the real meat of this issue is as far as interesting and good moments are concerned. We see long time Spawn nemesis Violator back in all his fat clown glory. While I mean no offense to Mr. Haberlin’s depictions of Violator in the opening story of the previous direction of Spawn, Violator looks so much better here. He also sounds much more like himself, though with McFarlane back, that is only natural.

Honestly, I could consider him the Joker of Image Comics in that every line from this guy is priceless and great. Todd McFarlane created him so it only makes sense that, though we only get 3 pages of him talking, it’s great. If anything I’d say pick this issue up to see Violator being Violator, going on to him in usual fashion.

The final page of course needs to be talked about, how could I not bring it up? It is the main “shocking everything changes moment” of the issue in that Spawn seems to have beheaded himself. As Violator points at, they are in a Dead Zone that was not supposed to be there and he is impressed that Spawn “finally did it” as we see the bloody headless corpse of our former protagonist.

To sum it all up as far as the storyline is concerned, it is a solid blend of reboot, where new readers could very well jump on and check it out. Which I highly recommend as anyone who is interested will probably be drawn in, and contains some nice continuation from previous established stories such as mention of Dead Zones. While it all feels like a bunch of “here’s this, now wait a few issues to find what it all means” it isn’t the typical starter issue either and that is an undeniable plus.

However, we still don’t know all of what we where promised we would find out and it seems like there is still a lot more to Endgame then 185 could hold. It’s obvious that Spawn fans are in for a wild ride with Endgame and if anything, this looks to be a great start for what could be a great story.

Art Comments: Whilce Portacio is more of a return to the 90’s era of art that Spawn well reflects that was shaken up come Brian Haberlin. I should also note Jin Han, the book’s new colorist. The two make a dynamic team and McFarlane does a good job on adding with the inking of this issue. Overall, the look is stylish, somewhat colorful but nicely dark when it needs to be and really looks great.

But in all honesty, the thing I have to point out most of all is Violator. Portacio makes a return to the classic look of the fat clown/reptilian demon and it looks great. With promises that Violator will be a strong player in Endgame, I am excited to see more of what Mr. Portacio brings out as Endgame unfolds.

Final Comments: This may not be for everybody, as it follows the typical set everything up formula and wait for it to unfold, as other comics such as Amazing Spider-man and Invincible are doing right now. But unlike those books, Spawn feels like one solid story and this is a great opening chapter. Maybe I’m a tad biased by how big of a fan I am of the series, and how great it is to have Todd and Brian back in the writer’s chairs, and Portacio’s incredible art but either way I can’t deny that I myself loved this issue and was incredibly impressed. Though I’ll say this, to be fair, if it weren’t for the incredible art this would just get a Must Read, but with art that fits the storyline so well I can’t tell you not to buy this incredible comic.

5 out of 5

Must Have

My apologies for this being later in the evening, I could not get to the comic store today and had a friend pick this up for me since she was working in the downtown area for a while.

Now as I mentioned earlier I will be reviewing the comics of these last couple of weeks still. Invincible, Secret Invasion, etc. but with a new twist, Open Fire! Reviews. A new “quick shot” style of reviewing where I ditch the fancy talk and write it more as a paragraph or two. It won’t be a regular thing but it will help for when I have too many comics to review and not enough time to go extensive on all of them.

So that’s it for now, I hope you enjoyed my review of Spawn #185.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Andrenn's Top 25 Horror films of all time! Part 1

Horror films. One of the strongest, yet most unappreciated genres in cinema today. Often grade A horror is over looked for the latest over hyped blockbuster Hollywood is tossing out with the latest big name actor who is over hyped as well.

It’s no doubt that Horror doesn’t get anywhere near enough credit, but when I look at some of the current films, I can see why some people misjudge the genre. So I put on my best zombie mask and sort through the mountains of crap filling the genre, and pick the 25 greatest films of all time in Horror.

Now as I said way back on October 1st, this is only part 1 to a 2 parter as here we have 25 through 14 and on Friday, Halloween, we have 13-1.

#25: Saw

Saw just barely makes it onto the list. Now I’m talking Saw 1 here, not 2 and up because after the first one it all went to hell. The first Saw film, while still annoyingly grotesque like so many Torture Porn films, had some great suspense and build up. My favorite trade mark to the horror genre. That, and our first main protagonist was fairly good. While not perfect, Saw is a good example of a modern horror film and how to blend suspense and freak out moments.

#24: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

I never count this as a part of the Nightmare series, but rather a spin-off. Therefore, it qualifies outside of the main franchise and I can add it to the list. The original series ran it’s course and after a while became nothing of a poor joke. Wes Craven returned with the amazing New Nightmare. A film that set itself in a main stream reality and blended similar things from the original Nightmare movie, but kept it very dark and without any of the bad jokes that Freddy spat out in that series. Overall, an incredible film, but not good enough to break much more than 24th spot.

#23: The Mummy, Original.

Boris Karloff is a major icon of horror, and while I’ve never been big on Frankenstein, his classic portrayal of the Mummy is legendary. This film feels like one nightmarish haze enveloping you, it’s both haunting and hypnotic and I love it for this.

#22: The Howling

The Howling is one of the better “modern” werewolf films. It seems that nowadays the genre of Werewolf movies has been seriously lacking, but in these last couple of decades, the Howling has stood out and told both a well written and very creepy story with some awesome scenes of werewolf attacks.

#21: Poltergeist

When I first saw this film as a child, it terrified me and had a strong haunting power, but as I matured, it lost the effect. Still, it’s a great flick nonetheless and has some great moments. My favorite being the infamous “face falling off” scene.

#20: Jaws

Some wouldn’t consider Jaws a horror film. I however would and I find it an important aspect to horror, since it really strengthened the “out at sea” part of horror. Face it, if your stuck at sea, your up a creak without a paddle and have no chance. Especially if you’ve got a murderous giant shark after you. Though several knock offs and awful sequels, the first film has some amazing suspense and is great.

#19: Children of the Corn

Where I live, there is a haunted corn field. It’s in the town right next to mine, and is a 10 minute drive. It’s not really haunted, it’s all for show, but if you go there after watching Children of the Corn then the moments of people popping up have much more effect. Now as for the film in general, it didn’t really get freaky until near the end, and Isaac made a great villain. While not the strongest of Stephen King’s work, it’s a great flick and has some lasting effect.

#18: Rosemary’s Baby

While this film had some great build up and suspense, it falls back in the list mainly due to not having enough strength in the scare department. Compared to a movie that I practically consider it’s successor, The Omen, there was a lot more that should have been done with this film. Still, it was great nonetheless.

#17: The Fly (original)

Leave it to Vincent Price to make one of the wildest horror films of all time feel realistic and eerie. While the remake seems to be more popular, I for one loved the original and found it left a real haunting impression. It’s the classic “Science gone wrong” horror story but with some eerie moments and an ending that sent shivers down my spine.

#16: The Hills have Eyes (original)

Wes Craven continues to dominate with a great and classic film. While most people seem to only think of it’s remake, similar to the Fly, the original was a great film and was a great tale of revenge and in the end, ended up being far more twisted than most people had predicted it to be.

#15: Pet Semetary

This is an incredible horror experience. But it loses some points on the scare scale since it takes forever for something really scary to happen. And in the end, the final moments is what really completes it and makes it so great. Though the film is strung with some great moments, the finale is the best aspect.

#14: Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

I was going to try and keep it to one film per franchise, but in all honesty, I don’t even feel Halloween 3 as a main part of the franchise. This was when they wanted the franchise to go off and tell different stories with each film. This was also the last good film in the Halloween franchise, as everything from 4 and up has been complete trash. But 3 was still great, despite some odd sci fi aspects to it.

So that’s part 1 to the epic top 25 horror flicks. I know some people will no doubt disagree, and that’s fine. Everyone has different tastes likes or favorites when it comes to movies. And with such a huge helping from the Horror genre, there is plenty to pick. This is more my opinion based off of the many, many, many horror films I have seen over the years. So if you disagree, no worries, I’d love to hear your favorites.

Now come back tomorrow for the extra special Spawn #185 review, so epic of a comic it gets its own post to itself. Now until I see you then, have a good night and lock those damn doors!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week's End

The Week has ended, and the countdown to Halloween is almost up. All this glorious time, so many dead, so few survivors…wait, is my Wii broken? *checks* Okay, we’re good. My best friend was eaten alive…but as long as my Wii is okay, I’m all right.

Comic of the Week: Final Crisis #4

Not a very good week for comics, in my opinion. Really weak for pretty much everyone, but Final Crisis steals a win for itself since it was one of the few good reads. I didn’t read the issue myself, just online spoilers and scans again, but from what I read, it was great. While I’m still sour at Jones’ inability to complete all 7 issues, I’m still liking where this is going. If word keeps going strong for FC, I may pick up the collection book.

Moment of the week: New Avengers #46 Dormammu reveal

Not a really great week for moments either. While there was some good ones, nothing stood out to me more than the reveal of Dormammu as the demon powering Hood. Always loved this character and great to see him back, and I can only figure this leads in to Dark Reign somehow. Also, while I’m not a big fan of Billy Tan’s, that is one wicked looking demon.

Cover of the week: NA #46 by Aleski Briclot

Again, not really a great week for covers either. But Aleksi’s awesome homage of Marvel Villains skrullified takes the win this week. Not a lot to say about it though, it’s incredibly cool.

So that’s it for the Week’s End. This week we’ve got reviews again of comics, Spawn #185 will be reviewed for sure. Maybe Invincible and Secret Invasion if I can get my hands one them. And if possible, more, but money is a bit tight right now. So until Tuesday, have a great weekend and grab yourself a water gun, the aliens are here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Collection Spotlight: 30 days of Night

For the most part through Halloween, we’ve covered mostly Zombies. But there’s another franchise of horror monsters that I love and enjoy seeing bite and infect people. The vampire. It’s no secret the Dracula made the image of the vampire popular, but since the glory days of the 1930’s and 40’s, Vampires have never been the same. Their images have constantly been changed around from suave and romantic creatures, to beat like and horrific in every way.

Then comes long 30 days of Night, a graphic novel that begs the question, why can’t they be both? Who says a vampire can’t have a werewolf like hunger and instincts, but retain its humanity and thought process? That is the main selling point to 30 days of night, and that’s why we’re brining it up to help celebrate the Halloween season.

Written: Steve Niles

Art: Ben Templesmith

Story comments: really, the story of 30 days of Night is pretty simple. In Barrow Alaska, it’s 30 days of night and the people have no connection to the outside world for this month. But suddenly, vampires attack in order to take advantage of no sunlight. Our main characters are husband and wife sheriff.

Really, it follows a simple Horror plot, but does well not to play on any of the annoying clich├ęs that have plagued current day horror. We have a happy couple, our main characters and saviors of the story, a big bad vampire as well as his horde of minions, and lots of humans ripe for the killing.

One thing I have to give credit for is the character of Vincente. Whereas Marlow is an all right vampire villain, Vincente steals the show and if anyone deserved their own spin-off prequel series, it’s him. For one, the way he’s drawn just reminds me so perfectly of Nosferatu, a wicked shadow of death and evil. His personality, what little we see of it, is very wicked and sick and I enjoyed every moment he was in.

The character of Eben is good hero for our story; he ditches the “Super human without a cause” that most stories have. You know what I’m talking about. The incredibly, insanely, badass hero who just annihilates everyone and everything in his path to save the people in danger. Eben is nicely humanized, without making him a dumb moron.

Stella is another great character, but we don’t get enough of her. Though she gets her time in the sun come Dark Days, her character still leaves more to be desired of a protagonist hero.

I don’t want to make excuses here, but there really isn’t too much to talk a bout when it comes to 30 days of night. It’s a 3 issue series as it is, and I can’t necessarily stretch it out with every little twist and turn, as that’s more of what Comic Report Card’s are for. Rather here I’m talking about important moments and the story in general.

The final battle between the vampire-ified Eben and Vincente is done well. Eben doesn’t start out as a Demi-god from the start, which I appreciated on Niles part. He gives a nice build up to the quick, but satisfying conclusion for our hero. Also, the narration was priceless.

I enjoy the storyline and its characters, there’s a great build up and some really wicked moments, but it’s not that much really and there’s some undeniably weak moments that I’d rather not cover, just for the sake that it would either spoil them or if you’ve read this, you know damn well what I’m talking about.

Art Comments: I’m a big fan of Ben Templesmith. That very much should be clear. Though as much as I love his current work (Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse is nothing short of brilliance personified) I find myself rather flustered over his previous work, with Hellspawn, and 30 days of Night.

Here, his style seems to go back and froth from traditional goodness such as his vampires, to an odd….almost photo-realistic style. It’s confusing and I didn’t appreciate it. But then comes moments where he writes, yes, he actually writes in thin ink in his art. Such as the reveal of Vampire Eben to Vincente he writes “Badass time” thinly. It’s a fun little nugget like that which boosts the art.

Of course I have to talk about his vampires. Their perfect blend of wicked shadows and monstrous beings. Templesmith creates a haunting and great image of the Vampire.

Final Comments: While as much as I personally enjoy this story, it’s faults have to be taken for account for, and really, the series didn’t get all that great until Return to Barrow. Which is something we’ll Spotlight next Halloween season. So while this is a great horror book and should go up in the history books, in the end, it’s just all right.

Buy It.

I know that it’s another short one but eh, it is only a 3 issues series we’re talking about. Now, tomorrow expect Week’s End on time and soon the start of the top 15 horror films! Whoo, but until then rest easy as we’ve marked all the doors with yellow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The 3 Solicits for January 2009

The solicits are up and out, a little late than usual, but I’m still here for the party. Now rather than posting each solicits group in 3 divided posts, I can’t be doing that so much with the Season’s Postings, so instead I’m putting them all under one roof!

I know nuts. But seeing as the majority of it is Marvel anyway, I figure 3 Batman books and whatever Image comics I’m getting won’t stretch this post too much.

Image Solicits for January 2009

DC solicits for January 2009

Marvel Solicits for January 2009

Now Image goes first since they sent out their solicits first. Fair’s fair, kids.

Spawn #188

I am stoked for Endgame and all it’s…Endy glory. This issue sounds interesting, but I’m not quite sure what to think of it being about some reporter chasing Spawn. Sounds like the POV kind of stuff comics do every once in a blue moon to shake up perspectives on these characters. Though with any luck, McFarlane doesn’t delve too far away from Spawn. Also, best cover yet by Portacio. Very wicked.

Witchblade #124

I knew it. I knew that student girl of Dani’s would cause trouble. While I’m not exactly sure how or what she does that causes the ripple effect, this issue is the lead in for War of the Witchblade, a story that alongside Ultimatum and Spawn Endgame, I am highly anticipating and am excited to see. That cover is also Sejic’s best yet, I know I was hard on him in the November solicits for that one weak cover, but this one is just incredible. Can’t wait to see War of the Witchblade.

Witchblade volume 6. TPB

I may pick this up seeing as it starts off with where I jumped on with Witchblade, and that was some incredible stuff right there. Now thanks to the internet I already know quite a bit on Witchblade, but no harm in checking this out. Could be a future CS some day.

Now onto DC!

Batman #685

Dini and Nguyen are back! Yes!

But wait…spoiler alert? Well there goes the build up to Heart of Hush’ conclusion. We now know Catwoman lives…while I’m happy to see her survive…I’m pissed at DC ruining the build up that #850 had going in Detective Comics. Major fail DC.

Batman: Cacophony #3

Not much to say on this really. I’ll be picking it up for sure.

Nightwing #152

I find it odd that Ra’s big return is in Nightwing. No offense to the book and its fans, Dick Grayson is an awesome character, but something so major…one would thing is to be handled by in the pages of Batman or something.

Detective Comics #852

So this spotlight is on Hush for this whole “faces of evil” crap. I honestly don’t care about all that, but hey, it continues the story from Heart of Hush and it’s MORE Dini/Nguyen teaming up. And I’m all for that.

I just want to point out, what happened to the Neil Gaiman/Andy Kubert “Whatever happened to the caped crusader?” storyline? Delayed? I thought it was set to come out in January…

Now onto the last long leg of our trek…the Marvel solicits

The Dark Reign hoopla continues to be kept under wraps as far as solicits is concerned. No covers, nothin, Marvel isn’t telling is squat. But I read the early release of the Spider-man solicits, I guess someone at Marvel.com messed up since ASM #584, and it involves Menace and Harry Osborn, and has Romita Jr. Back. It seems to be a part of the Dark Reign…interesting.

Ultimate Spider-man #130

Hmmm, I’m not sure why but this solicit doesn’t sound as interesting. Looks okay, but I’m not sure what to think. Too vague.

Is Ultimatum being delayed for the month? It’s nowhere in the solicits, from what I see….

Spider-man Noir #2

That cover is odd. Not bad, just odd. I’m really hoping that this series goes for a black and white like, unlike X-men Noir which for some stupid reason will be in color. The solicit talks of Black Cat showing up, so hey, some femme fatale action going on. You know what; looking a second time at the cover…it’s pretty good.

Amazing Spider-man #583

Well, I guess it was going to happen sooner or later. More salt on the wound, as they say. People asked for this? Really? Meh, I don’t recall anyone asking for it, but I don’t hang around the Marvel forums often.

Ghost Rider #31

I still have yet to add this to my pull list, I’m waiting to pick up #28 this week and see if it’s good enough to add this story back to my pull list. Cool cover by Suydam though. Also, I decided against Danny Ketch, the mini-series.

Marvel Zombies 3 #4

I already commented on the cover on Yesterday’s MZ cover talk. The solicit sounds like a crazy fun time, can’t wait to see more of this story.

Quick comment here, Ruins sounds and looks stupid. Ellis or no Ellis.

Skaar: Son of Hulk #7

Dear god let this story pick up! With the return of Silver Surfer, I’m excited to see if Pak can finally breathe strong life into this comic. Also, seems Guice has replaced Garney…I can’t tell if I’m happy or sad at that.

Thor #600

I’m considering picking up Thor finally. It was a great idea on Marvel’s part to return to a classic numbering.

Secret Invasion: War of Kings

I’m considering picking this up…I’m not all that sure if I’ll be reading War of Kings, it has me interested and I’m all for some Black-Bolt baddassery.

X-men: Legacy #220

Rogue…favorite X-man! Must buy now…must buy…

X-men/Spider-man #3

I was so excited for this issue, but damn….it’s Ben Reilly as Spider-man…not Scarlet Spider…I would have loved, dare I say, strongly, for him to be Scarlet Spider. He was awesome as Scarlet Spider, sucked as Spider-man…but still, the art looks incredible and it’s got some classic Carnage so I’m in.

Is Wolverine getting ANOTHER damn DELAY?!

Ugh…just…just ugh….I'm starting to consider dropping Wolverine.

Spider-man: New Ways to Die HC.

While this story isn’t perfect (I hope to be able to review the final issue sometime soon) I did enjoy this story enough to warrant picking up the HC.

March on Ultimatum HC

I’ll be picking this up mainly to have a book that contains the Ultimate Spider-man Annual #3.

Marvel 1985 HC

I got the first issue of Marvel 1985 and it was great, but I decided against getting the whole series and to wait for the HC. I will be picking this up as soon as I can, the reviews have been fairly positive about this so I look forward to reading it all as a whole.

So that’s the full epic Solicit talk. It took a bit of time to get it all together, busy as all hell today. Now I should be able to get to the comic shop tomorrow so expect a review of Invincible and Secret Invasion.