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Paul McNamee "Rambleast Reviews" (North Ireland)
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Jack Kirbys The Demon Omnibus HC
Jack Kirbys The Demon Omnibus HC
by Jack Kirby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 30.12

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Kirby's The Demon Omnibus, 29 Jan 2013
Jack Kirby's The Demon Omnibus collects Kirby's full 16-issue '72-'74 run on the series before DC cancelled it. The book boasts a new introduction by Mark Evanier (author of Kirby: King of Comics) and several unfinished pages of Kirby pencils from pages that were and weren't published as bonus material. Though The Demon suffers from lack of direction, when it realises it's a horror comic about half-way through its run its quality nearly doubles and if you've any interest in Kirby or classic American comics at all, you could do worse than picking it up.

Now, any Kirby criticism is likely to ring blasphemous amongst the devout in our little hobby, but The Demon is proof positive that artist extraordinaire though he was, Jack was no great shakes in the writing department. The first seven issues of this series go nowhere, leaping between time periods and often seeming to be missing a page or two. There's no development whatsoever, no character, and things are often hard to follow. The writing is undermined by a sense of amateruish choices, from the actual inclusion of laughter within the script ("hahahahahaha") to the misuse of inverted commas when someone speaks in slang. Often, it seems that you're dropped in the middle of the story, and after sixteen issues you're no further along on what exactly the relationship between Jason Blood and his bodily co-habitor (or is it alterego?) Etrigan is. The dialogue is rarely exciting, never amusing, and it's impossible to care about any of these characters because they have no character.

Then you glance up at a four-star rating and wonder "well, what DID you like about it?". You kiddin'? It's Jack Kirby. The art, my friends in fiction, is the draw here. Pun totally intended. Now, I could write at length about why the art's so great, but I'd just be covering ground that everyone else who's ever written about the history of comics has already, so I'll shift the focus a little. You recall I mentioned specifically the first seven issues of the series going nowhere? Well, you can take that as also meaning that the last nine issues are a hoot, and trust me, they're straight from the hoot factory in West Hooting, Virginia. That second half of the book is mostly comprised of multi-part stories, and once Kirby starts paying homage...wait, a correction, once Kirby starts STEALING the plots of old horror movies this book starts going places, and it never lets up (save for the occasional sideways glance at Blood's cohorts, including Kirby cypher Harry Matthews and poor unfortunate Glenda Mark, a Kirby approximation of glamour with a receding hairline that only serves to highlight her enormous forehead). Like I alluded to earlier, once the book really gets to grips with being a genre title and the horror plots match the character designs, well, it is then that The Demon becomes a series worth reading. In fact, it's building so much momentum that when it reaches that last issue and its original cancellation, it ranks as a classic four-colour injustice. The series particularly picks up when the issues get three pages shorter and less time is devoted to the supporting cast, seeing as they were never endearing or compelling anyway. Also, there's a character who builds monster men whose name is Baron Von Evilstein. That'll either seal your decision to buy or reject that book, and as you may have guessed, I'm firmly in the former camp.

These DC Omnibus books are a curious line, as they're not the same size as the more popular Omnibus format - they stand a little taller than a regular trade paperback but only because of the dimensions of the hardcover itself, and they're not oversized like the Flash or Teen Titans books you may have come across. They're no slouch when it comes to presentation, though: the pages are like those of a regular novel rather than modern glossy paper, and that suits the art better anyway, given when the stories were first printed. The binding is sturdy, and though it's a little stiff the art in these books doesn't go all the way in the gutter so you'll not miss anything even in the middle of the book. Evanier's introduction is a great account of the series' creation (which I've opted to skip so you've an added incentive to buy it), and the pages of Kirby pencils are a welcome bonus too. Lastly, the book's cover under the dustjacket is gorgeous, and I've uploaded a shot of it above so you can have a look.

Etrigan's become a popular character over the years, but despite creating him I don't feel like Kirby deserves a lot of credit for that. His principal attributes under Jack are leaping and laughing, and though he occasionally speaks in rhyme he doesn't do it as a rule. Later writers would have more fun with him, perhaps most notably Alan Moore when he had him turn up in Swamp Thing. There's a lot of fun in this book, too, but I reckon if he'd been created by anyone else he'd have ended up an obscure footnote in a Grant Morrison book rather than an enduring staple of the DC universe.


Spider-Man: The Return Of Anti-Venom (Amazing Spider-Man)
Spider-Man: The Return Of Anti-Venom (Amazing Spider-Man)
by Dan Slott
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Return Of Anti-Venom, 27 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Return Of Anti-Venom is the fourth collection of writer Dan Slott's run on Amazing Spider-Man, and includes issues #663-665 and the Free Comic Book Day giveaway issue (as well as the backups from those books), all from 2011. It's a slim collection that serves best as a prelude to Spider-Island (and for a complete list of Slott books with links check out the end of the review). Art is from Humberto Ramos and semi-regulars Giuseppe Camuncoli and Ryan Stegman, with one of the backups scripted by Todd DeZago and illustrated by Todd Nauck.

Considering how slight the previous volume was, I can't help but feel the stories here wouldn't have been better spread out over the books on either side of them, making both The Fantastic Spider-Man and Spider-Island a little thicker and saving this one being printed at all, even though - save for a few hints dropped here and there - not much happens in the book that relates to either of the others. The actual return of Anti-Venom (aka erstwhile actual Venom Eddie Brock) is restricted to the two-part mystery of the apparent return of Jean DeWolff (killed off in an 80s classic by legendary scribe Peter David and available separately) which also works in some sort of closure for the Mr. Negative subplot that's been running since Brand New Day started. I'm fond of these elements of the new Spidey era, and it's nice to see them addressed even though it feels a little like Slott's getting them out of the way to deal with more pressing matters. The Free Comic Book Day issue follows through on the last book's promise to introduce Spidey to the ways of martial arts to compensate for his recently-lost Spider-Sense, and is quite honestly perfect, with a silly villain, a neat team-up and dialogue to make lesser writers Hulk out with envy. A great issue to give away to hook potential readers (even IF we actually have to pay for it). The final issue spotlights Peter's friendship with Betty Brant and how he deals with her being attacked after he's forced to work late at his 'til-that-point perfect new job. It's great. Truly great. Angry Peter is always welcome in moderation, and Stegman (who's currently working on Superior Spider-Man) turns in great work on the last one-off issue before Spider-Island rocks the Marvel boat for a few months. The backups see Spidey on a relative failure of a patrol and Aunt May and Jay Jameson up sticks and move to Boston (which is also reprinted in Spider-Island). Neither feels necessary, but I'm glad they're included.

Not much in the way of extras here - a single page from Frank Cho detailing his new designs for The Wraith, a character who appears in the titular two-parter.

The three previous books from Slott's run are Big Time, Matters of Life and Death and The Fantastic Spider-Man - all three also comprise the more recent (but paperback-only) Big Time: Ultimate Collection. The next volume is contained in Spider Island, and continued with Flying Blind, Trouble On The Horizon, Ends Of The Earth, No Turning Back, Danger Zone and Dying Wish, which'll take you right the way up to the recent relaunch as Superior Spider-Man. I'll be reviewing each volume over the next few weeks if you care to have a look.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death (Amazing Spider-Man)
Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death (Amazing Spider-Man)
by Stefano Caselli Dan Slott
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 14.67

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Matters Of Life And Death, 25 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Matters Of Life And Death is the second collection of Dan Slott's run on Amazing Spider-Man (after it began in Big Time), and covers issues #652-657 and #654.1 of the title, all from 2011. After such an impressive first volume, Matters Of... manages to keep the momentum rolling with a succession of frankly indispensable issues that further confirms Slott's status as one of the greatest Spider-scribes since 1962, aided here by former ASM writer Fred Van Lente on additional scripting duties under Slott's plotting.

The book centers around "No One Dies", a two-part story illustrated by Marcos Martin (whose combination of distinct linework and Ditko-homage really sets him apart on this book) which adds to Spidey's ever compounded sense of guilt and gives him that titular motto to run with as an ethos from here on out. Spidey's dedication to making sure no-one on either side of the criminal/ civilian divide bites the big one is one of the most profound statements about Peter's character in fifty years: its impossibility places enormous self-made pressure on his shoulders and sets him up for failure from the get-go, but that doesn't curb his optimism or determination for a moment. The story packs an emotional punch despite a one-off villain, and boasts a memorable Martin dream sequence with a startling image or two that really sticks in your craw. The first ten speech-free pages of #655 are an artistic anchor for a story bloated with grief and prove that when Martin has time for Spidey it's something to be grateful for.

"No One Dies" is preceded by a two-issue tale in which Alistair Smythe (he of Spider Slayers) employs The Scorpion (reintroduced in Big Time) to lead an admittedly rubbish 'insect army' as part of a master plan for simplistic revenge. One of Slott's greatest attributes as a writer is his use of classic Spider-Man foes like an artist would shades of paint, adding texture and drive to a story if not actually defining it. More seeds are sewn for future Doctor Octopus appearances in this volume - check my review for Ends Of The Earth to see where that ends up.

ASM #654.1 (and the last few pages of #654) work as a lead-in to Rick Remender's ongoing Venom series, and establish that series' frankly brilliant central conceit that the erstwhile villainous symbiote is to be bonded with a series of jarheads as a military tool and the specifics of how the government intend to keep it in check. Why it deserves a place in this collection is because, of course, the first (?) of these jarheads is Peter's one-time tormentor and good buddy Flash Thompson. The use of this Iraq veteran who's lost his legs serving his country really makes that series special, and it's well worth checking out. The first five issues are collected simply as "Venom By Rick Remender" and the next three are in "Spider-Island", which is linked to below. I just thought I'd mention that as the dedicated Venom trades appear to skip right from #5 to #9.

Rounding out the book is a tie-in to the then-current run of Fantastic Four comics, in which founder member Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) had just died. Naturally, as comics go, his time off this earth wasn't fated to last, but what comic deaths serve to do (aside from spiking sales: let's be honest) is afford writers and artists an opportunity to explore how these deaths are handled. Sure, they rarely end up meaning as much when someone is miraculously restored, but that doesn't make #657 any less touching a tribute to Johnny and Peter's friendship (told in flashbacks and as illustrated by four masters of their craft). The issue also sets up Spidey's membership with the Future Foundation - you know, the other FF.

What you have, then, is a selection of stories that when looked at as a whole represent just one portion of one of the most consistent runs in mainstream comics in years. As I'll always say, Slott's understanding of and respect for Spider-Man and his supporting cast (to which Slott continues to devote equal time amongst the old and the new) is what makes these books instant classics. He uses old villains the way they should be used, he can tell a great compelling story (I'm having trouble not reading more than one of these collections at a time because I'm trying to pace myself), he handles humour and gravity adeptly and he will make you care about these little sketches of people like only the very best in the medium's history can.

Oh, and it wouldn't do not to mention Stefano Caselli, whose art stands alongside's Humberto Ramos' as the most strongly associated with Slott's writing on the series, and is superb as ever on those issues he handles in this collection.

The next volume of Slott's tenure is contained in The Fantastic Spider-Man, and followed by The Return of Anti-Venom, Spider Island, Flying Blind, Trouble On The Horizon, Ends Of The Earth, No Turning Back, Danger Zone and Dying Wish, which'll take you right the way up to the recent relaunch as Superior Spider-Man. I'll be reviewing each volume over the next few weeks if you care to have a look.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


WWE: The Attitude Era [DVD]
WWE: The Attitude Era [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stone Cold Steve Austin
Price: 16.99

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Attitude Era, 23 Jan 2013
This review is from: WWE: The Attitude Era [DVD] (DVD)
The Attitude Era is WWE's first comprehensive effort to address that glory period of then-WWF wrestling from 1997-2000 outside of the occasional clip in an anniversary product or superstar-specific collection. It comprises an hour-long documentary and just under six hours of promos, interviews and matches from those years (with another 70 minutes' worth on the Blu-ray edition), and ticks just about every box for things you could hope to find, from hardcore championship bouts to career-launching promos and beyond.

Given the wealth of archive footage presented, it's not really fair to say the documentary on Disc 1 is the main feature. If anything, IT is the extra, providing some level of context to the hours of matches and whathaveyou presented elsewhere. Still, it's a fitting and suitable testament to the many highs (and grudgingly accepted lows) of the period that appeared to change pro wrestling forever. I say `appeared' because the state of WWE's product now is further away from the ideals of the Attitude Era than we could have predicted, even as recently as 4-5 years after it ended. Still, during '97-'00 at least, it showed no signs of stopping, and welcomed an older audience with profanity, crudity, sexuality and violence. This was the time that I got into wrestling, and looking back over the whole period over Christmas it holds up pretty well, but it is doubtless romanticized by fans unhappy with modern output, and some of the documentary's interviewees are quick to point out that for every genius idea like Hell In A Cell there was a dud like Brawl For All, and Road Dogg is adamant that despite his participation (and proliferation) way back when, there's no way he'd let his kids watch it now. An hour may seem a little slight, and I'd definitely had welcomed more comments, but it's best to let the footage speak for itself, and that's where the set really shines.

It's great to see so many of what could fairly be called forgotten wrestlers so comprehensively acknowledged. Steve Blackman, Val Venis, D'Lo Brown, Crash Holly and their brothers and sisters in grappling formed a large part of my enjoyment of the show, and that WWE could easily have filled this set - and I do mean filled it - with footage of Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Undertaker and others and instead levelled the playing field to include the lower- and mid-card is really appreciated. That said, you'll still get your share of the big dogs.

Another great facet of this set is the choice of footage in the extras. Owing to WWE's commitment to library material, an awful lot of the most famous moments in Raw history are already available on disc, even moreso here in the UK thanks to Silvervision's Tagged Classics program which has kept every PPV from this period in print as well as several Best Of Raw sets not available so easily in the US. Thankfully, a great deal of the extras are from Raw and Smackdown and don't overlap with previous releases. These range from classic matches, or at least matches that typify the Attitude Era, to promos and the general idiosyncrasy of the performers. Boss Man fans will be glad to know his poem about Big Show's recently deceased father is presented intact. Ex-WWE performers haven't been slighted either, so don't worry about Kurt Angle, Chyna or even...sigh...Jeff Jarrett being excised for their sins: all are present and accounted for.

One thing I'm sure a lot of potential buyers are worried about is the blurring of the WWF 'scratch' logo and censorship of any mentions by wrestlers or commentators of that name due to the WWF/WWF lawsuit from a decade ago. Though I know nothing about the specifics, those restrictions no longer apply to WWE's output, so there is not one instance of the logo or the name blurred or bleeped throughout the entire set, thankfully. Another concern I'm sure some have is over the level of adult content, given the nature of WWE's current PG output. Never worry - the smut and violence is presented unaltered (so no black-and-white for instances of bleeding), but maybe keep this one away from your kids, hmm?

In all, if you've been waiting for a set like this for years instead of going out and buying all the PPVs from the Attitude Era, you'll not be disappointed, and even if you have, the TV-exclusive extras, documentary and overall presentation (I mean, WHAT a cover...) should justify a purchase anyway. It's one of the best WWE sets in a long time for this sort of material, and coming after the great documentaries from that past two years continues their roll with home video output. The simple lesson being imparted here is if they give us what we want, we will buy it and they will make more. A final note: the set, on either DVD or Blu-Ray, is cheapest if bought direct from the manufacturer, Freemantle Media, who like Silvervision before them are offering free UK delivery and pre-release date shipping. Just a thought.

********************EXTRAS********************

In an effort to keep the page as short as possible, I've not put these in a vertical list. If it helps make it any easier, each clip is separated by a semi-colon: hyphens only separate match-type and participants. Note that all extras are in standard definition.

Disc 1: Jim Ross Interviews Goldust & Marlena; Steve Austin Throws the Intercontinental Championship Off A Bridge; Soldier of Love; Mr. McMahon Presents Mankind with The WWF Hardcore Championship; Jim Ross Interviews Triple H; An Evening at the Friendly Tap; Mae Young and the Acolyte Protection Agency; "The Jug Band"; Triple H Trains Trish Stratus; Edge's Totally Awesome Birthday; The Rock's Message to his Hell in a Cell Opponents; GTV

Disc 2: Mike Tyson Joins DX; A New Beginning for D-Generation X; Sable vs. "Marvelous" Marc Mero; Nation of De-generation; Brawl For All Match - Bart Gunn vs. "Dr. Death" Steve Williams; Four Corners Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship - The Undertaker & Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kane & Mankind vs. The New Age Outlaws vs. The Rock & Owen Hart; Lion's Den Match - Ken Shamrock vs. Owen Hart; Finals of WWF Championship Tournament - The Rock vs. Mankind; The Rock & The Undertaker vs. Mankind & Stone Cold Steve Austin; Austin Gives the Corporation a Beer Bath; WWF Championship Match - Undertaker vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin; The Debut of Y2J

Disc 3: European & Intercontinental Championship Match - D'Lo Brown vs. Jeff Jarrett; Buried Alive Match for the WWF Tag Team Championship -The Rock & Mankind vs. Undertaker & Big Show; Stone Cold Steve Austin & Jim Ross vs. Triple H & Chyna; Boss Man's Sympathy for Big Show's Dad; The Wedding of Stephanie McMahon & Andrew "Test" Martin; The Godfather & D'Lo Brown vs. Too Cool; WWF Hardcore Championship Match - Hardcore Holly vs. Crash Holly; WWF European Championship Match - Chris Jericho vs. Eddie Guerrero; Steel Cage Match for the WWF Intercontinental Championship - Rikishi vs. Val Venis; Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match for the World Tag Team Championship - Edge & Christian vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley Boyz; Hell in a Cell Match for the WWF Championship - Kurt Angle vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Rikishi

If you buy the Blu-Ray, you'll also get the following exclusive extras:

King of Kings Match - Ken Shamrock vs. Triple H vs. Owen Hart; The Oddities w/ Insane Clown Posse vs. The Headbangers; The Truth About Sammy; The Unholy Union of Stephanie McMahon & The Undertaker; No Disqualification Match - The Rock vs. Val Venis; Survivor Series Elimination Match - Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Kane & Shane McMahon vs. Triple H, X-Pac & The New Age Outlaws; WWF Hardcore Championship Match; Al Snow vs. Crash Holly; The Hardy Boyz & Lita vs. Perry Saturn, Eddie Guerrero & Dean Malenko; Chris Jericho & The Dudley Boyz vs. Kurt Angle, Edge & Christian


Spider-Man: Big Time (Amazing Spider-Man)
Spider-Man: Big Time (Amazing Spider-Man)
by Humberto Ramos Dan Slott
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Time Perfection, 23 Jan 2013
The Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time collects issues #648-651 of that series from early 2011. This volume marks the start of Dan Slott's run as sole writer on Amazing, and there's no better place to jump on board to get caught right the way up to where things are now.

In the first five pages of this book, Slott lets us know that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, that he's in but doesn't lead and is still somewhat awed by the Avengers and that not all of his team-mates know who he is but more importantly that some do. We see his individual dynamics with the rest of the team, and we learn that the mayor - and by extension the public - are prone to mistrusting him, all while dealing with the latest machinations of a classic villain. All in five pages, gang. Just five. It's at once funny and dramatic, and brilliantly illustrated by Humberto Ramos as coloured by Edgar Delgado, the Mexican dream team. As we move on, we're introduced to Jonah Jameson, his son and his wife. We have insight into what Spider-Man thinks of the military (it's clichéd, but of COURSE Peter would think they're the "real heroes": he's not and never has been a character for the enjoyment of the cynical). We even have a panel devoted to his interaction with each member of the Fantastic Four. His powers - webbing, adhesion, spider-sense - are established. He drops popular culture references that feel informed, relevant and natural unlike those of the decades gone by which almost always seemed like attempts to make the character seem younger. Another three panels take care of the status of his relationship with Black Cat, and another two cover his supporting cast and of course, the power/responsibility keystone the book is built on. Without further ado, enter the Sinister Six, and after some more inter-team interaction you're set - you know what to expect from Spidey without anything being forced down your throat, gently eased in without even realising it. Slott works hard (though it never shows) to give you everything you need to know to get to grips with this series.

And then he starts to shake things up. One More Day went out of its way to reset Spidey in a needless effort to refocus his appeal, but now that he's in sole control of the book, Slott has no time for that. As a result, we open on Peter bemoaning his lack of money after just saving the earth from something Tony Stark and Reed Richards couldn't, and just about the same time we realise the silliness of this - poverty despite genius - Slott does too, and makes a change for the better. Characters, you see, should grow. They should change and evolve, whether through marriage, bereavement or even financially, and these things could come to define them as much as things that happened to them 50 years ago if given a chance. That's what Slott's done with Big Time - he's taken Spider-Man in a natural direction because he's not afraid NOT to be constantly paying tribute to Stan Lee and company. This applies doubly for the idiosyncratic Ramos, the latest true 'personality' artist to work on the series. Slott takes elements from the past and progresses logically, even lifting from the all-but-forgotten 90's (by the way, when the editor writes "see Green Goblin #1-13 on page 18, he's referring to Green Goblin: A Lighter Shade Of Green, though I'd not recommend it).

Now, fair enough, I don't care for Pete's current love interest, but I was a Spider-Marriage supporter - if she's not MJ, I don't wanna know about it. I can still appreciate the layer of the Carlie/Peter relationship though, and furthermore appreciate Carlie as a barrier, narratively speaking, between Peter and true happiness. That's a pretty elongated way of saying I don't like Carlier Cooper but I'm not upset she's there. He also takes time to explain why the symbiote was allowed to remain bonded to Eddie Brock and Mac Gargan while Venom was incarcerated all those years (while also setting up Rick Remender's excellent Venom solo series).

But the real hook is this: chances are you know someone who could be doing better with the skills they have and it hurts not to see them succeed. Same with Peter. It's easy to relate to, which is why Big Time is so satisfying. Seeing him head over to Horizon Labs, get the tour then end up working there is the closest I've ever felt to pride for a fictional character. Slott makes you feel for Peter, rejoice for his accomplishments, and succeeds in establishing a status quo that goes against the grain and works anyway because he knows the characters head to toe and inside out. Cap it all off with the return of a beloved villain and various hints at what's to come and you've got a literally perfect first issue.

Oh yeah. That's all in a single issue of this great run. The rest of the book sees further establishment of Peter's new colleagues, this new villainous threat (spoiler: it's a Hobgoblin, but is it THE Hobgoblin?) and the sewing of other seeds that will sprout glorious fruit throughout the later run. This is the best Spider-Man has been in a long, long, long time folks, and you owe it to yourself as a lifelong fan or a first-time reader to get onboard, because whichever side of that fence you fall on, this book is just the book for you.

Extras include a pair of back-up stories from issues #650 & #651 that concern Mac Gargan's recovery of his Scorpion identity (which pays off in later stories) and variant covers and sketches. The next book in sequence is Matters of Life and Death: note that since release, it and The Fantastic Spider-Man have also been collected alongside Big Time in Big Time: Ultimate Collection. Following that are The Return of Anti-Venom, Spider Island, Flying Blind, Trouble On The Horizon, Ends Of The Earth, No Turning Back, Danger Zone and Dying Wish, which'll take you right the way up to the recent relaunch as Superior Spider-Man. I'll be reviewing each volume over the next few weeks if you care to have a look.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


Preacher HC Book 06 (Preacher (Numbered))
Preacher HC Book 06 (Preacher (Numbered))
by John McCrea
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 29.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Preacher: Book Six, 19 Jan 2013
There may be some confusion about the contents of the various editions of Preacher available, and this review is intended to address it. Preacher: Book Six is a hardcover volume collecting issues 55-66 of the series and the one-shot Tall In The Saddle from 1998-2000. The six-volume hardcover series of reprints should not be confused with the existing series of nine paperback editions, each of which is subtitled. For example, this book the second half of Volume 8: All Hell's A Comin' and all of the final book, Volume 9: Alamo. For every two hardcover volumes, three of the paperbacks' contents are covered, so if you're mixing and matching you'll need to be aware of that. The hardcover books contain new introductions written specifically for these editions (this final volume's is by Ennis and Dillon), but do not reprint the old introductions used for the first printings of the paperbacks. I'll have reviews up for all six volumes just to make sure everyone's clear on what they might be buying.

Preacher, when all's said and done, has one of the most satisfying conclusions in comics history, and it's not just because the last issue is such a cracker, but because of how much it feels like a conclusion to everything - everything wrapped up, everything addressed, every promise met and everyone done right by. The series has too few lows to mention, and even those only suffer because of comparison. In the end, the whole thing is such a consistently entertaining and touching body of work, with a commendable sense of structure in an ongoing work and a respect for characters it never cheapens and a readership it never underestimates. Here's to you, Garth, Steve and company: your legacy is this great tale, and your great irony that lives as a great celebration of America from a pair of Brits. Bravo.

Like I mentioned above, this edition has a new introduction by Garth and Steve, though it'd be better described as a dedication, really. There's a gallery of the remaining Fabry cover art at the back as well. The dustjacket is a nice matte finish of the pictured artwork, and its spine is perfectly synchronous with the other five volumes in the series. The book's cover underneath is a subtle black, though the gold lettering of the first four books was dropped with the fifth. The binding is glued but at south of 400 pages that's not really a problem. Lastly, this book is not oversized like some of DC's other Deluxe hardcovers - it is only just taller than a regular TPB. Regardless, these books are absolutely gorgeous, and both the nicest format for this classic series so far released and the closest thing to a definitive presentation we're ever likely to get. Though Amazon's prices are particularly crazy on some of the volumes, I've seen many copies in high street stores so it may be worth looking around for whichever volumes are out of print.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


Preacher - Deluxe (Vol. 6)
Preacher - Deluxe (Vol. 6)
by Garth Ennis
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Preacher: Book Six, 19 Jan 2013
There may be some confusion about the contents of the various editions of Preacher available, and this review is intended to address it. Preacher: Book Six is a hardcover volume collecting issues 55-66 of the series and the one-shot Tall In The Saddle from 1998-2000. The six-volume hardcover series of reprints should not be confused with the existing series of nine paperback editions, each of which is subtitled. For example, this book the second half of Volume 8: All Hell's A Comin' and all of the final book, Volume 9: Alamo. For every two hardcover volumes, three of the paperbacks' contents are covered, so if you're mixing and matching you'll need to be aware of that. The hardcover books contain new introductions written specifically for these editions (this final volume's is by Ennis and Dillon), but do not reprint the old introductions used for the first printings of the paperbacks. I'll have reviews up for all six volumes just to make sure everyone's clear on what they might be buying.

Preacher, when all's said and done, has one of the most satisfying conclusions in comics history, and it's not just because the last issue is such a cracker, but because of how much it feels like a conclusion to everything - everything wrapped up, everything addressed, every promise met and everyone done right by. The series has too few lows to mention, and even those only suffer because of comparison. In the end, the whole thing is such a consistently entertaining and touching body of work, with a commendable sense of structure in an ongoing work and a respect for characters it never cheapens and a readership it never underestimates. Here's to you, Garth, Steve and company: your legacy is this great tale, and your great irony that lives as a great celebration of America from a pair of Brits. Bravo.

Like I mentioned above, this edition has a new introduction by Garth and Steve, though it'd be better described as a dedication, really. There's a gallery of the remaining Fabry cover art at the back as well. The dustjacket is a nice matte finish of the pictured artwork, and its spine is perfectly synchronous with the other five volumes in the series. The book's cover underneath is a subtle black, though the gold lettering of the first four books was dropped with the fifth. The binding is glued but at south of 400 pages that's not really a problem. Lastly, this book is not oversized like some of DC's other Deluxe hardcovers - it is only just taller than a regular TPB. Regardless, these books are absolutely gorgeous, and both the nicest format for this classic series so far released and the closest thing to a definitive presentation we're ever likely to get. Though Amazon's prices are particularly crazy on some of the volumes, I've seen many copies in high street stores so it may be worth looking around for whichever volumes are out of print.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 10, 2013 9:49 PM BST


Preacher HC Book 05 (Preacher (Numbered))
Preacher HC Book 05 (Preacher (Numbered))
by Steve Dillon
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Preacher: Book Five, 19 Jan 2013
There may be some confusion about the contents of the various editions of Preacher available, and this review is intended to address it. Preacher: Book Five is a hardcover volume collecting issues 41-54 of the series from 1998-1999. The six-volume hardcover series of reprints should not be confused with the existing series of nine paperback editions, each of which is subtitled. For example, this book collects all of Volume 7: Salvation and half of Volume 8: All Hell's A Comin'. For every two hardcover volumes, three of the paperbacks' contents are covered, so if you're mixing and matching you'll need to be aware of that. The hardcover books contain new introductions written specifically for these editions (Book Five's is by Axel Alonso), but do not reprint the old introductions used for the first printings of the paperbacks. I'll have reviews up for all six volumes just to make sure everyone's clear on what they might be buying.

If you've got a truly great character on your hands, they'll thrive in totally new settings around totally new characters, and that's exactly what happens in Salvation, the first half of this book: thought to be dead by his erstwhile buddy Cassidy and lover Tulip, Jesse Custer sets up shop in a small town and quickly establishes himself as sherriff in the best run of issues since the series began. Preacher continues to work an an ode to Americana littered with ruminations on masculinity, morality and the foundations of decency and villainy, but it takes a little time off here from its overarching plot of Jesse tracking down an abdicating God to make him atone for his sins. The last five issues see things get back to normal, with a pair of issues devoted to Tulip's childhood and adolescence, another story about Jesse's father in the war and the long-awaited and emotionally charged reunion of our long-separated lovers. Also, Jesse gets a dog, which is always great. Definitely, the best of Ennis' work that comes to mind is contained in these pages.

Like I mentioned above, this edition has a new introduction by series editor Axel Alonso, in which he discusses Preacher's success as an exploration of America, religion and superheroism. Glenn Fabry's original TPB covers for volumes 8 and 9 are reprinted at the back, too. The dustjacket is a nice matte finish of the pictured artwork, and its spine is perfectly synchronous with the other five volumes in the series. The book's cover underneath is a subtle black, but sadly the first four volumes' gold lettering has been dropped. The binding is glued but at south of 350 pages that's not really a problem. Lastly, this book is not oversized like some of DC's other Deluxe hardcovers - it is only just taller than a regular TPB. Regardless, these books are absolutely gorgeous, and both the nicest format for this classic series so far released and the closest thing to a definitive presentation we're ever likely to get. Though Amazon's prices are particularly crazy on some of the volumes, I've seen many copies in high street stores so it may be worth looking around for whichever volumes are out of print.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


Preacher HC Book 04
Preacher HC Book 04
by Peter Snejbjerg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 25.27

3.0 out of 5 stars Preacher: Book Four, 19 Jan 2013
This review is from: Preacher HC Book 04 (Hardcover)
There may be some confusion about the contents of the various editions of Preacher available, and this review is intended to address it. Preacher: Book Four is a hardcover volume collecting issues 34-40 of the series and the one-shots One Man's War, The Story Of You-Know-Who and The Good Old Boys, from 1996-1998. The six-volume hardcover series of reprints should not be confused with the existing series of nine paperback editions, each of which is subtitled. For example, this book collects half of Volume 4: Ancient History (the other half is in the third hardcover) and all of Volume 6: War In The Sun. For every two hardcover volumes, three of the paperbacks' contents are covered, so if you're mixing and matching you'll need to be aware of that. The hardcover books contain new introductions written specifically for these editions (Book Four's is by Steve Dillon), but do not reprint the old introductions used for the first printings of the paperbacks. I'll have reviews up for all six volumes just to make sure everyone's clear on what they might be buying.

This fourth collection is easily the weakest of the books so far. Consisting as it does of three one-shots (focusing on Herr Starr, Arseface and Jody and T.C. respectively), it's less focused than the other efforts. Originally, these issues (as well as the other side project books) were collected in a single volume (the above-mentioned Ancient History), where they worked better outside of the main narrative. Here, they only distract, and that's probably because in the case of The Story Of You-Know-Who and The Good Old Boys, they're not very good. The main feature of the book is War In The Sun and its immediate aftermath, the pivotal mid-run event that changes the course of Preacher 'til its conclusion. It's action all the way with this one, with heartbreak to follow, and if Jesse's and Tulip's separation doesn't have you itching for reconciliation, you've no heart. Theirs is one of the great love stories in all of fiction, if you ask me, and Ennis makes us wait for the payoff this book heads towards. As always, his scripts are excellent and Dillon is no slouch in the visual shock department, either. I honestly don't think anyone should ever read just part of Preacher, so you're better off reading this volume too, but the extra padding of those less-than-neccessary spinoffs costs the book a star.

Like I mentioned above, this edition has a new introduction by Dillon, in which he compares Preacher's initial release to the birth of his son and comments on the other artists who worked on the mini-series and one-shots over the course of the series' run. There's also a gallery at the back containing four pages of Dillon's and Glenn Fabry's art for the original printings of the paperback collections and other promotional work. The dustjacket is a nice matte finish of the pictured artwork, and its spine is perfectly synchronous with the other five volumes in the series. The book's cover underneath is a subtle black with gold lettering. The binding is sewn but at south of 350 pages that's not really a problem. Lastly, this book is not oversized like some of DC's other Deluxe hardcovers - it is only just taller than a regular TPB. Regardless, these books are absolutely gorgeous, and both the nicest format for this classic series so far released and the closest thing to a definitive presentation we're ever likely to get. Though Amazon's prices are particularly crazy on some of the volumes, I've seen many copies in high street stores so it may be worth looking around for whichever volumes are out of print.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Preacher: Book Four, 19 Jan 2013
There may be some confusion about the contents of the various editions of Preacher available, and this review is intended to address it. Preacher: Book Four is a hardcover volume collecting issues 34-40 of the series and the one-shots One Man's War, The Story Of You-Know-Who and The Good Old Boys, from 1996-1998. The six-volume hardcover series of reprints should not be confused with the existing series of nine paperback editions, each of which is subtitled. For example, this book collects half of Volume 4: Ancient History (the other half is in the third hardcover) and all of Volume 6: War In The Sun. For every two hardcover volumes, three of the paperbacks' contents are covered, so if you're mixing and matching you'll need to be aware of that. The hardcover books contain new introductions written specifically for these editions (Book Four's is by Steve Dillon), but do not reprint the old introductions used for the first printings of the paperbacks. I'll have reviews up for all six volumes just to make sure everyone's clear on what they might be buying.

This fourth collection is easily the weakest of the books so far. Consisting as it does of three one-shots (focusing on Herr Starr, Arseface and Jody and T.C. respectively), it's less focused than the other efforts. Originally, these issues (as well as the other side project books) were collected in a single volume (the above-mentioned Ancient History), where they worked better outside of the main narrative. Here, they only distract, and that's probably because in the case of The Story Of You-Know-Who and The Good Old Boys, they're not very good. The main feature of the book is War In The Sun and its immediate aftermath, the pivotal mid-run event that changes the course of Preacher 'til its conclusion. It's action all the way with this one, with heartbreak to follow, and if Jesse's and Tulip's separation doesn't have you itching for reconciliation, you've no heart. Theirs is one of the great love stories in all of fiction, if you ask me, and Ennis makes us wait for the payoff this book heads towards. As always, his scripts are excellent and Dillon is no slouch in the visual shock department, either. I honestly don't think anyone should ever read just part of Preacher, so you're better off reading this volume too, but the extra padding of those less-than-neccessary spinoffs costs the book a star.

Like I mentioned above, this edition has a new introduction by Dillon, in which he compares Preacher's initial release to the birth of his son and comments on the other artists who worked on the mini-series and one-shots over the course of the series' run. There's also a gallery at the back containing four pages of Dillon's and Glenn Fabry's art for the original printings of the paperback collections and other promotional work. The dustjacket is a nice matte finish of the pictured artwork, and its spine is perfectly synchronous with the other five volumes in the series. The book's cover underneath is a subtle black with gold lettering. The binding is sewn but at south of 350 pages that's not really a problem. Lastly, this book is not oversized like some of DC's other Deluxe hardcovers - it is only just taller than a regular TPB. Regardless, these books are absolutely gorgeous, and both the nicest format for this classic series so far released and the closest thing to a definitive presentation we're ever likely to get. Though Amazon's prices are particularly crazy on some of the volumes, I've seen many copies in high street stores so it may be worth looking around for whichever volumes are out of print.

***As ever, I keep an eye on the comments section, so if you'd like to know anything about the book please ask below.***


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