Steve Morris's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comics Bulletin Reviews: 30
7.1Avg. Review Rating

7
2000AD #1800

Sep 12, 2012

In other words, this is a standard issue of 2000 AD. Superior writing and a darker sense of humor than most other comics, each story stands out as something different and interesting. It's always a mixed bag in an anthology, and I'm sure other people will like the stories I didn't, and dislike the ones I liked. But that's part of the fun, really -- you don't know what you'll get in an issue until you've read it. Which, if you're interested in doing, I recommend starting with this issue.

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8
2000AD #1806

Oct 23, 2012

A good week for 2000 AD!

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7
Aquaman (2011) #16

Feb 5, 2013

It's a decent issue, but the Justice League book has been rather generic and lifeless so far, and that drags the sprightlier Aquaman down a little.

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8
Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils Of The Pacific #1

Jul 3, 2012

It helps that this is one of the more "realist" stories, so far, that the team have done. Evil dinosaurs and mad scientists are tremendous fun, but having two teams of humans have to invent their own work to keep ahead of each other adds a stronger sense of tension into the story. The last-page tease for how the rest of this volume will continue is inventive, and tightens the boundaries of this story in a satisfying manner. Sometimes a story encompasses a whole world, and sometimes it can zoom in on a small area and ratchet up the tension: this is a book where the latter happens. Paying lip-service to the era and to the pulp style, it's a fun comic which gives you a slightly sexist 1920s robot trying to make friends with a group of jetpack-bound space pirates. Which, thankfully, appeals not just to both fans of one-upped irony, but to a more widespread audience. It's great fun.

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6
Axe Cop: President Of The World #1

Aug 3, 2012

So the story is a little thin, and relies on some strong jokes to ease readers past the awkwardness of the narrative. The characters are still fun, and they've somehow still been able to find ways to keep Axe Cop himself enjoyable, even with all the twists and changes made to him over the past three years. The art is bright and smart, and Ethan is growing stronger at adapting Malachai's ideas. But this isn't the right format for Axe Cop, and as Malachai grows older, his stories grow more self-aware and less spontaneous. It's still a fun issue, but it's even more throwaway than ever and suggests that perhaps it's time to wind down the epic stories in favor of shorter pieces -- switching to something more like Fred The Clown's structure would work wonders for the character.

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9
Bandette #1

Jul 4, 2012

It's a fun strip, and a nice introduction to the character and world. It's slight and throwaway, but that's half the intent. It's a breakfast comic. You read it with a coffee and piece of toast, then you go buy a croissant to eat tomorrow. It's fun! It's what more comics should be trying for! And it feels utterly effortless. Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, you guys. They're just great.

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9
Bigfoot Boy Volume 1: Into The Woods #1

Sep 1, 2012

Bigfoot Boy is a delightful book. All-Ages in the very best fashion, it's a story to read with your little sister or young cousins, to stop them pulling books out the bookcase at random STOP DOING THAT KIDS. Fun to read, inventive, charming; it actually rewards a second reading, and radiates charm and warmth from every page. And there is a squirrel.

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4
Doctor Who Special 2012 #1

Sep 18, 2012

If you buy the special, just be aware that Diggle's story is the only real standout. Lee's piece is also good, but the first two stories are rather poor, and don't feel like they have anything to mark them out as Doctor Who stories. They could be any generic sci-fi piece. Only Lee and Diggle seem to understand what makes the Doctor tick, and it's a shame they have to share space here with two dud stories.

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8
Doctor Who Vol. 3 #1

Oct 18, 2012

On the basis of this first issue, IDW have made a very smart decision in bringing Diggle and Buckingham to the world of Doctor Who. Assured and fun, this looks set to be a great addition to the series. 

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4
Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1

Apr 3, 2012

Denys Cowan's art is, obviously, glorious. He goes short, intense panels of conversation. He does open, double-page splash sequences. He does monsters, he does realism, he does emotion, he does visceral violence. Hinds' greatest achievement in the first issue is to make sure that Cowan and inker John Floyd have plenty of things to play around with, and every time the art team hit their mark with effortless style. In a book which struggles to say anything new about itself, it's the silent sequences which stay with the readers longest.

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8
Fables #125

Jan 25, 2013

Overall, Fables #125 is another example of Bill Willingham's immense skill at telling a story. It feels simple, but only because he's constructed such a wonderful, sweeping world to play around in, with distinctive characters who feel comfortable in their own skin. Fables has a confident, earned voice as a series, and issue #125 continues to take the characters towards new goals and stories. It's an excellent piece -- complemented, I should absolutely point out, by a stellar artistic team who by this point have merged into a single entity, so symbiotic and instinctive their work feels. It's an excellent issue of a series which surely has no right to still be excellent after so many years of storytelling. Magic must be involved somehow.

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6
Fairest #1

Mar 13, 2012

The issue never truly revs up, but it certainly works as an interesting opening to a story which has yet to be properly revealed to us. It would far better suit if it were the start of a graphic novel, which tells the complete story in one go, but it does a nice job developing the two primary characters, and the ending could lead us somewhere unexpected and fun. As a whole, however, Fairest #1 doesn't feel like much of a story quite yet.

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6
Harker: The Book of Solomon #1

Sep 19, 2012

Harker: The Book of Solomon is an entertaining thriller from Gibson and Danks, although it doesn't attempt to stray beyond the usual limits of a detective story. The dialogue is sound, the story well plotted, and the tone and art work well together. If you're a fan of crime, it's worth having a look at.

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6
Hoax Hunters #1

Jul 3, 2012

But that's criticising the book for something which hasn't yet happened, and may never will. The main thing to focus on here is that Hoax Hunters, at least for the moment, is a solid read, with likeable lead characters and a premise which promises -- and delivers -- a lot of monsters. The humor is idiosyncratic and the storytelling is sound. It's a decent title at the moment, and we'll just have to wait and see what the future brings for the series.

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4
Judge Dredd #1

Nov 21, 2012

It's not a bad issue, and the art is rather nice in both the main story and the back-up. It's a solid opener, but I don't think I'll be anxiously waiting the next issue.

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8
Marvel NOW! Point One #1

Oct 17, 2012

A few duds, one thump, but on the whole -- a rather promising teaser for Marvel NOW!

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9
Masks and Mobsters #1

Aug 9, 2012

Actually, Masks and Mobsters is perhaps the strongest work from MonkeyBrain yet. A whipsmart script, combined with a subtle and sketchy art style which enhances each page, makes for a fun, surprising ride. The premise alone is enough to warrant a look: the execution guarantees that you'll pick up the next issue.

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7
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #1

Nov 28, 2012

I thought it was a decent first issue, which sets the scene and world nicely. While I did feel crowded out by the amount of characters who appear, I get the impression that fans will find a lot to enjoy in the issue. If you're a newcomer looking to see what the fuss is about, you'll get a vague opening taste of what's going on. Most importantly, the book seems to retain the idea of "this is for everyone" which the series championed, meaning those unprecedented, staggeringly ginormous sales for the book will probably continue for the foreseeable future. The book lives up to the hype, and proves that all-ages isn't a bane the comic book industry should shy away from. It's proud of itself, and with good reason.

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10
One Year Later: The Flash #1

Sep 18, 2012

There are still many characters yet to appear in this new Central City, as well. Wally West is prominently AWOL, but there are also villains like Professor Zoom, Captain Boomerang are more still waiting to appear in this book. And it's a guarantee at this point that when/if they do show up, they'll be imbued with heart and personality. The Flash isn't a book for cynical nastiness and bloodshed. It's a superhero story, and the most charming example of the genre in years.

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4
Pirate Eye: A Pirate's Life Is Not For Me #1

Mar 8, 2013

There's a great concept and interesting lead character here, and writer Joe Grahn has a good hold of dialogue. The problem is that the narrative is poor, and structured badly. Rather than being a twisting thriller, the comic starts slowly and then almost immediately falls apart under the weight of an under-explained storyline which doesn't make sense over the course of the comic. 

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9
Saucer Country #1

Mar 20, 2012

Saucer Country #1 is a strong first issue, filled with clever character work and an entertaining central narrative, filled with little quirks and twists. It's strongly recommended for anybody who has an interest in political thrillers, sci-fi stories, conspiracy tales or, y'know... comics.

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10
Snarked #9

Jun 19, 2012

Snarked only has three more issues left before it wraps up, but it's a welcome reminder that comics can still be, y'know, comic. All it takes is the involvement of the best comedic writer/artist in the business, complete creative control and a beaver.

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8
Super Dinosaur #15

Nov 7, 2012

Which is a victory against anti-dinosaur prejudice, if ever I saw one. The issue is well paced, smartly judged, and doesn't treat the readers as simple. There are full-on fights and emotional moments here, and Kirkman has a great handle on voice here. The science is silly, the exposition is light, and the story is an excuse for him to make monsters fight each other -- while Howard draws it. Super Dinosaur has quite a bit of heart in it, and also it has dinosaurs firing rocket launchers at each other.

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4
Superman (2011) #16

Feb 5, 2013

Exposition can be done well, but here it takes the form of sagging narration, which burdens each page with too many words which simply describes Rocafort's artwork. The creative team worked very well together on Red Hood, but it looks like Lobdell is starting to lose track of the collaborative process and weight down every panel with pointless writing. A misstep for a halfway-decent event storyline.

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7
The New Deadwardians #1

Apr 3, 2012

As an opening issue, The New Deadwardians relies heavily on Abnett's ability to make George Suttle into a compelling, distinct, charismatic presence. Luckily for everybody involved, that's exactly what happens, and the surrounding ideas about zombies and vampires take a backseat to Suttle's central plod through life. There's a charm in the book, but thus far Suttle is the main reason for anybody to pick it up next month. Culbard's art is well-pitched for a book like this, and he and Abnett seem to be taking great relish in the details of Edwardian society. As long as they can continue to build on Suttle, and move outwards to a supporting cast and compelling murder mystery for him to solve, The New Deadwardians looks it could be a unique and superior take on an age-old formula.

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8
Thoughts on a Winter Morning #1

Sep 4, 2012

While the story is a simple, warm story about a very cold part of the year and the never-ending supply of things kids can do with a giant rock, it also displays Busiek's assured knowledge of the medium. This is a story which explains how comics are a medium which invites readers into a world, rather than leaves them stranded on the outside of the pages. 

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6
Threshold #1

Jan 17, 2013

Threshold #1 is a curious little book. It's light hearted and fast-paced, with not very much going on. But the world is involving, and the cardboard characters provide a lot of entertaining moments. It is, I say, quite a lot like Star Wars.

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6
Wander: Olive Hopkins and the Ninth Kingdom #1

Aug 8, 2012

Wander stands alongside the rest of the Monkeybrain releases as something lightweight and enjoyable, although eternally throwaway in nature. If you buy it, you'll enjoy it. 

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9
Wonder Woman (2011) #8

Apr 25, 2012

Wonder Woman #8 Comic Series: Wonder WomanWriter: Brian AzzarelloPenciller: Cliff ChiangColorist: Matthew WilsonEditor: Matt IdelsonChris ConroyPublisher: DCReviewer: Steve MorrisReview Rating: It must be tough to have become the most talked-about comic book around, especially when the reason why you've become so talked-about is because you've apparently either set feminism free or smothered it forever.

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8
X-O Manowar (2012) #2

Jun 7, 2012

Being British, I had no idea who Valiant were until the start of this year -- but with the pure fun of X-O Manowar these past two months, the company have rapidly bleeped onto my radar. Venditti writes a blisteringly entertaining story, which may be slight but is surprising, unpredictable and filled with great humor and well-choreographed fight scenes. Nord shapes the fight scenes well, but also throws character into the random fighters, and looks to be very much enjoying the chance to draw both Celtic battlegrounds and intergalactic arboretums. It's a really fun, sharp, swift comic. And it came from nowhere. What better sign for the future of comics could there be?

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