Batgirl #43

'Batgirl' #43 page art

Batgirl #43

'Batgirl' #43 cover by David Lafuente, Anthony John Rauch, Jr. Babs Tarr & Des Taylor
‘Batgirl’ #43 cover by David Lafuente, Anthony John Rauch, Jr. Babs Tarr & Des Taylor
  • Written by Brenden Fletcher & Cameron Stewart
  • Pencils by Babs Tarr
  • Colored by Serge Lapointe
  • Cover by David Lafuente, Anthony John Rauch, Jr. Babs Tarr & Des Taylor

Tech genius Luke Fox has brought his startup to Burnside, and he seems to be hiring all of Barbara’s friends…but not her! Unfortunately, someone else is setting up shop in Burnside as well…the mysterious Velvet Tiger!

Pickup your copy of ‘Batgirl’ #43 from comixology.com here!

I read a lot of comics, roughly 20-25 titles per month, some I read even though they’re maybe in need of a creative kick up the arse and others I pick up randomly because there’s just so much buzz I have to give them a shot.

‘Batgirl’ was one of the ones I picked up just because there was so much buzz around the creative re-shuffle that lead Barbara Gordon to move to the Burnside area of Gotham and create the new costume that has made the title such a hit that its circulation has cracked 40k on several occasions this year (N.B. back in January is cracked the top 25 in estimated sales). At the time I was just curious as the book was so dark in the months prior that I was intrigued how it could carry off the planned changes.

That was then… now I’m putting serious consideration in to adding ‘Batgirl’ to my monthly subscriptions rather than a go out and buy it in the shop purchase.

There may be a little of the love-it-or-hate-it syndrome going on here, I don’t think that ‘Batgirl’ is for everybody but I can’t say enough about how you should give it a chance. The artwork, here provided by meteoric rising star Babs Tarr (pencils) and Serge Lapointe (colours) is so stand out for a comic and yet it evokes almost a feeling of a classic Disney cartoon in it’s atmosphere. If this were an animated movie Barbara would be the princess and most likely she would burst in to song.

The cynic in me picked up the first issue of this run expecting it to be squarely aimed at teenage girls and yes this book is now much more accessible to a younger and more female audience but that never feels like the sole motivation for the creative changes. There is nothing to put off other demographics in the audience, in fact the inclusion of LGBT characters only serves to make the book more inclusive to readers.

The overriding message here: DO NOT JUDGE THIS BOOK BY ITS COVER.

This is now the 11th issue of the newly minted ‘Batgirl’ so there’s a wealth of story for you to read if you’re just picking this up for the first time.

This issue, dubbed ‘Tooth & Claw’, is the beginning of a new arc featuring a villain that’s not one of the staples of the Bat-family books. The story itself focusses less on the villain and more on the supporting cast of the series, despite being a relatively short 20-pages there’s room of all of Barbara’s new group of friends and allies to appear.

The story of transgender, ex-housemate Alysia and partner Jo feels a little underdone, I don’t recall missing an issue but this has come about quite fast and it does feel as though there could have been more time spent developing their backstory.

The most intriguing characters are allies Qadir and Frankie. There’s an Oliver, Felicity and Diggle triad-in-development feeling in recent months. Qadir brings the technology and Frankie brings the cyber knowledge but also wants to bring the muscle. When she eventually steals the cowl, a plot point that feels as though it’s been foreshadowed for some time, and creates her own costume the gang finally feels as though it’s coming together.

Brenden Fletcher & Cameron Stewart have been able to craft a strong circle of friends for Barbara which sets her apart from the Nightwing/Grayson’s of this world and most other solo Bat-family titles. The crimes and eventual reveal of the villain are also second place to the ensemble cast but they’re still well developed will hopefully carry the next chapter of this story as the focus shifts.

There ‘Robin Son of Batman’ focusses on more fantastical elements of the DC Universe and ‘Grayson’ explores a world of spies ‘Batgirl’ is almost exploring the real world. ‘Batgirl’ feels like a very real-world story and a very practical hero for the modern age.

She’s not perfect… but then neither are we!

4 stars

 

 

4 stars

Season 2 banner art for 'Gotham'. Fox.

Fox release red band trailer for ‘Gotham: Rise of the Villains’

Hot on the heels of first episode ‘Rise of the Villains: Damned If You Do…’ the Fox Network in the US has released a red band trailer for the remaining two episodes in the three-part saga which serves as the opening gambit of the second season of ‘Gotham’.

The two and a half minute trailer features footage from ‘Damned…’ plus the upcoming second episode ‘Rise of the Villains: Knock Knock’ and the third and final part ‘Rise of the Villains: The Last Laugh’. The trio of episodes focus on a group of villains including Barbara Kean (Erin Richards) and the soon-to-be-Joker, Jerome Valeska (Cameron Monaghan) who are busted out of Arkham and set loose on the Gotham populous.

It looks as though James Gordon and the GCPD are in for a world of trouble both at home and on the streets and if rumours are to be believe could we be about to see the famed Court of Owls make an appearance on the show.

Checkout the trailer below and sound off in the comments with your thoughts!

'Saga' from Image Comics

Saga: An Overview Review  

'Saga'
‘Saga’

I was in A&E the other day, waiting for a follow up appointment, happily reading a comic. As I turned the page the women behind me gasp in horror and exclaim ‘my god’. What comic I was reading I hear you ask? The answer is Saga. Volume three to be exact. I was rereading the previous comics in anticipation of the release of volume five (purchase your copy here) in just a few days’ time.

 

Saga is about two star crossed lovers in the midst of a war trying to raise their child. Sound dull?

Think again. Saga is a very graphic novel, both violently and sexually. Certainly a comic that is for adults only and maybe not to be read in such public places.  The bold style of narrative makes Saga a marmite comic. You will either love it or hate it.

I love it.  Saga is told from the perspective of Hazel, the daughter of Alana an ex-soldier from the planet of Landfall and Marko ex solider from the moon of Wreath. The two worlds have been at war with each other for hundreds of years, which have expanded throughout the galaxy forcing each planet and moon to take a side.

So what makes this comic so special I hear you ask? The Answer is two elements – the writing and the design.

Fiona Staples is the artist who brings this comic to life. Saga is set in a dark and twisted world dealing with difficult subjects including death, war and loss, but her bright fluid style gives the comic its brightness and the feeling of a chance of happiness when all the war is over. Pair this with Brian K Vaughan’s writing style which is gripping and fast paced, mixed, with dark humour and you have a comic book series which you won’t be able to put down.

My only criticism would be at times the narrative becomes hard to follow due to the language barrier. With the vast variety of different species in this comic who each speak a different language communication happens through the use of either rings which automatically translate whatever language that person is speaking; just like the Babel Fish from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which only work to a certain distance. Or the other way of communication is just to know the language like we would learn a second language. While this language barrier gives authenticity to the comic it interrupts the narrative, the reader has to rely purely on the artwork which, while it gives some guidance it does not give a definitive answer.

If you like stories of adventure and romance mixed with its fair share of blood and death, then Saga is the comic series for you. If you are already hooked, like me, leave us a comment and let us know your opinion of the story so far; favourite characters? Do you agree with what has happened so far? What do you think is going to happen next? We would love to hear from you.

Stay tuned for my review of Saga Volume 5…

Comics

UK comic releases: Wed 9th September 2015

Here are all of the comics due for release this week (Wednesday 9th September 2015):

1602: Witch Hunter Angela #3
1602: Witch Hunter Angela #3
A-Force #4
A-Force #4
Abe Sapien #26
Abe Sapien #26
Action Comics #44
Action Comics #44
Alice Cooper vs. Chaos! #1 (of 5)
Alice Cooper vs. Chaos! #1 (of 5)
All-Star Section 8 #4
All-Star Section 8 #4
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #5
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #5
Americatown #2 (of 8)
Americatown #2 (of 8)
Archie Giant Comics Spotlight TP
Archie Giant Comics Spotlight TP
Arrow: Season 2.5 #12
Arrow: Season 2.5 #12
Astronauts in Trouble #4
Astronauts in Trouble #4
Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire #1 (of 5)
Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire #1 (of 5)
Atomic Robo: The Everything Explodes Collection TPB
Atomic Robo: The Everything Explodes Collection TPB
Avengers: Time Runs Out Vol.1 TP
Avengers: Time Runs Out Vol.1 TP
Battlestar Galactica: The Death of Apollo TP
Battlestar Galactica: The Death of Apollo TP
Batman #44
Batman #44
Batman Beyond 2.0 Vol.3: Mark of the Phantasm TP
Batman Beyond 2.0 Vol.3: Mark of the Phantasm TP
Batman/Superman #24
Batman/Superman #24
Bitch Planet #5
Bitch Planet #5
Bloodshot Reborn Vol.1: Colorado TPB
Bloodshot Reborn Vol.1: Colorado TPB
Bloodstrike #2
Bloodstrike #2
Boy-1 #2 (of 4)
Boy-1 #2 (of 4)
Bravest Warriors #36
Bravest Warriors #36
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 Vol. 3: Love Dares You TP
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10 Vol. 3: Love Dares You TP
The Bunker #14
The Bunker #14
Cadaver Dogs of Winter SC
Cadaver Dogs of Winter SC
Carpe Noctem #4
Carpe Noctem #4
Catwoman #44
Catwoman #44
Chrononauts Vol.1 TP
Chrononauts Vol.1 TP
Civil War #4
Civil War #4
Crossed: Badlands #85
Crossed: Badlands #85
Crossed +100 #8
Crossed +100 #8
Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - House of Cards TPB
Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – House of Cards TPB
Darth Vader #9
Darth Vader #9
Deadly Class #16
Deadly Class #16
Death Sentence: London #4
Death Sentence: London #4
Descender Vol. 1 Tin Stars TP
Descender Vol. 1 Tin Stars TP
Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor #11
Doctor Who: Twelfth Doctor #11
EC Archives: Two Fisted Tales Vol. 1 HC
EC Archives: Two Fisted Tales Vol. 1 HC
Earth 2: Society #4
Earth 2: Society #4
Eternal Soulfire #3
Eternal Soulfire #3
Fables: The Wolf Among Us #9
Fables: The Wolf Among Us #9
Famous Monsters Presents: Broken Moon #1 (of 4)
Famous Monsters Presents: Broken Moon #1 (of 4)
Faster Than Light #1
Faster Than Light #1
The Fuse #14
The Fuse #14
Gears and Bones #2
Gears and Bones #2
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Robyn Hood #14
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Robyn Hood #14
Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AVX #4
Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AVX #4
God is Dead #42
God is Dead #42
Good Grief, More Peanuts! TP (Vol.3: 1952-1956)
Good Grief, More Peanuts! TP (Vol.3: 1952-1956)
Gotham Academy #10
Gotham Academy #10
The Grevious Journey of Ichabod Azrael #6
The Grevious Journey of Ichabod Azrael #6
Halo: Escalation Vol.3 TP
Halo: Escalation Vol.3 TP
Harley Quinn Road Trip Special #1
Harley Quinn Road Trip Special #1
Harrow County #5
Harrow County #5
Haunted Horror #18
Haunted Horror #18
Head Lopper #1
Head Lopper #1
Injection #5
Injection #5
Insufferable #5
Insufferable #5
Jon Sable Freelance Omnibus Vol.1 TP
Jon Sable Freelance Omnibus Vol.1 TP
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Shattered Empire #1 (of 4)
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire #1 (of 4)
Judge Dredd Classics: The Dark Judges HC
Judge Dredd Classics: The Dark Judges HC
Justice League United #13
Justice League United #13
King: Mandrake the Magician #4
King: Mandrake the Magician #4
King Tiger #2 (of 4)
King Tiger #2 (of 4)
Knights of the Dinner Table #223
Knights of the Dinner Table #223
Korvac Saga #4
Korvac Saga #4
Lantern City #5
Lantern City #5
The Legacy of Luthor Strode #3
The Legacy of Luthor Strode #3
Letter 44 #20
Letter 44 #20
Long Distance #4 (of 4)
Long Distance #4 (of 4)
Luke Cage Vol.1: Second Chances TP
Luke Cage Vol.1: Second Chances TP
Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble Season Two #11
Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble Season Two #11
Marvel's Mightiest Heroes Vol.45: Polaris HC (UK Edition)
Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes Vol.45: Polaris HC (UK Edition)
The Maxx: Maxximized #23
The Maxx: Maxximized #23
Mercury Heat #3
Mercury Heat #3
Mercy Sparx #8
Mercy Sparx #8
Mice Templar V: Night's End #5 (of 5)
Mice Templar V: Night’s End #5 (of 5)
Mirror's Edge: Exordium #1
Mirror’s Edge: Exordium #1
Moonstreak #1
Moonstreak #1
Mrs. Deadpool and The Howling Commandos #4
Mrs. Deadpool and The Howling Commandos #4
Ms. Marvel #18
Ms. Marvel #18
New Lone Wolf and Cub Vol.6 TP
New Lone Wolf and Cub Vol.6 TP
New Suicide Squad #12
New Suicide Squad #12
Ninjak #7
Ninjak #7
Onyx #2 (of 4)
Onyx #2 (of 4)
Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta #12
Outcast by Kirkman and Azaceta #12
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #2 (of 6)
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #2 (of 6)
Pixu: The Mark of Evil TP
Pixu: The Mark of Evil TP
Planet Hulk #5
Planet Hulk #5
Popeye Classics #38
Popeye Classics #38
Quake: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1
Quake: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1
Rebels #6
Rebels #6
Red Hood/Arsenal #4
Red Hood/Arsenal #4
Red Skull #3 (of 3)
Red Skull #3 (of 3)
Red Sonja/Conan #2 (of 4)
Red Sonja/Conan #2 (of 4)
The Sadhu: Birth of a Warrior #3
The Sadhu: Birth of a Warrior #3
Saga Vol.5 TP
Saga Vol.5 TP
Sanitarium #2
Sanitarium #2
Savior #6
Savior #6
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #61
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #61
Secret Wars 2099 #5 (of 5)
Secret Wars 2099 #5 (of 5)
Sherlock Holmes: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution #2 (of 5)
Sherlock Holmes: The Seven-Per-Cent Solution #2 (of 5)
The Siege #3
The Siege #3
Sleepy Hollow: Providence #2 (of 4)
Sleepy Hollow: Providence #2 (of 4)
Sonic the Hedgehog #276
Sonic the Hedgehog #276
Spongebob Comics #48
Spongebob Comics #48
Star Trek/Green Lantern #3 (of 6)
Star Trek/Green Lantern #3 (of 6)
Star Trek: New Visions - The Survival Equation
Star Trek: New Visions – The Survival Equation
Star Trek #49 - Five Year Mission
Star Trek #49 – Five Year Mission
Starfire #4
Starfire #4
Starve #4
Starve #4
Suiciders #6
Suiciders #6
Superior Iron Man Vol.2: Stark Contrast Premiere HC
Superior Iron Man Vol.2: Stark Contrast Premiere HC
Swords of Sorrow #5 (of 6)
Swords of Sorrow #5 (of 6)
Tet #1 (of 4)
Tet #1 (of 4)
TMNT Color Classics Vol.3 #9
TMNT Color Classics Vol.3 #9
Transformers: Spotlight Omnibus Vol.2 TP
Transformers: Spotlight Omnibus Vol.2 TP
True Believers: Black Widow #1
True Believers: Black Widow #1
True Believers: Ms. Marvel #1
True Believers: Ms. Marvel #1
Tyson Hesse's Diesel #1 (of 4)
Tyson Hesse’s Diesel #1 (of 4)
Uncle Scrooge: Pure Viewing Satisfaction TPB
Uncle Scrooge: Pure Viewing Satisfaction TPB
Unity #22
Unity #22
Vampirella/Army of Darkness #3 (of 4)
Vampirella/Army of Darkness #3 (of 4)
Virgil OGN
Virgil OGN
The Walking Dead #146
The Walking Dead #146
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #723
Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #723
The Wicked + The Divine #14
The Wicked + The Divine #14
The X-Files: Season 11 #2
The X-Files: Season 11 #2
Young Charlotte: Filmmaker HC (UK Edition)
Young Charlotte: Filmmaker HC (UK Edition)
Zombies vs. Robots Ongoing Vol.1: Inherit The Earth TPB
Zombies vs. Robots Ongoing Vol.1: Inherit The Earth TPB

Information courtesy of Forbidden Planet International. Pick-up your comics in-store at FP shops across the UK or subscribe online (as we do!) at Forbidden-Planet.co.uk

 

Promo artwork for the third season of 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Sneak peek at ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ season 3!

Marvel Entertainment, ABC and Yahoo! TV have released a short sneak peek for the upcoming third season of ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for an action-packed third season, with Director Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Agent Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) leading the charge as S.H.I.E.L.D. searches the world for more powered people in the aftermath of their epic battle with Jiaying and her army of Inhumans. However, Coulson and the team soon find out that they are not the only group looking for these new Inhumans.

Many months after their war with a rogue group of Inhumans, the team is still reeling. Coulson is again trying to put the pieces of his once revered organization back together while also dealing with the loss of his hand. His confidante and second in command, Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), has yet to return from an impromptu vacation with ex-husband Andrew (Blair Underwood); deadly superspy Agent Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) is recovering from her traumatic torture at the hands of Grant Ward (Brett Dalton); Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is obsessed with discovering the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge); and all are on high-alert for the next move from Ward and Hydra.

Ever since the existence of Super Heroes and aliens became public knowledge after the Battle of New York, the world has been trying to come to grips with this new reality. Coulson assembled a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division). S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mission: to protect those who cannot protect themselves from threats they cannot conceive.

But bigger threats loom ahead, setting the stakes even higher for the Agents, including the spread of Terrigen, an alien substance that unlocks superhuman abilities in select individuals; the emergence of new Inhumans who cannot yet control nor understand their powers; the rise of a new government organization that will go toe-to-toe with S.H.I.E.L.D.; the unknown properties of the massive alien Kree monolith, which has taken one of their own; and the constant threat of a rebuilt Hydra terrorist organization under S.H.I.E.L.D. traitor Grant Ward, who is making it his personal mission to take down Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D.

New faces, both friend and foe, will join the series, including the no-nonsense, highly-skilled and somewhat mysterious leader (Constance Zimmer) of the ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit), her intimidating partner, Banks (Andrew Howard), Lash (Matthew Willig), a monstrous Inhuman whose loyalties remain ambiguous, and new Inhuman Joey (Juan Pablo Raba), who is struggling to harness his newfound abilities, among other surprising characters.

Coulson, with the help of Daisy and Mack (Henry Simmons), will work to slowly assemble a team that is stronger than ever before, combining the highly skilled Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with powered individuals in the hopes of protecting the innocent in a world where the balance of power is ever-shifting, and new dangers are constantly emerging.’

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returns to ABC on Tuesday, September 29.

Click the player below to watch the video!

'Arrow' season 4 promo artwork

First trailer for ‘Arrow’ season 4 released!

Hot from being presented to crowds of fans at this years Dragon Con in Atlanta comes the first trailer for ‘Arrow’ season 4.

Picking up soon after the season 3 finale ‘My Name Is Oliver Queen’, ‘Arrow’ season 4 finds Oliver and love interest Felicity Smoak living away from the newly re-christened Star City (RIP Ray Palmer?) until trouble back caused by new big bad Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) brings Oliver back to town.

Season 4 is set to see the return of Caity Lotz’s long dead Sara Lance and the fan favourite Nyssa Al Ghul played by Katrina Law. The return of Sara will bring about a new type of cross-over for the DCTVU with Matt Ryan donning his coat and tie to once again play DC anti-hero John Constantine, last seen played by Ryan in the series finale of the cancelled NBC series ‘Constantine’.

Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, John Barrowman as Malcom Merlyn, with Paul Blackthorne as Detective Lance. The series is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Sarah Schechter.

Season 4 will premiere on Wednesday, October 7 at 8:00pm ET/PT.

Click play below to watch the trailer!