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Hakim Briki

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Justice League Dark Vol. 1: In the Dark (The New 52) (Jla (Justice League of America) (Graphic Novels))
Justice League Dark Vol. 1: In the Dark (The New 52) (Jla (Justice League of America) (Graphic Novels))
Price: £7.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 18 Feb 2014
As a fan of Hellblazer, I was curious as to the treatment John Constantine was given by DC Comics after the last reboot. Sadly, this book was kind of a mess.
Several mystic DC characters are "teamed up" in Justice League Dark; Xanadu, Zatanna, Shade the Changing Man, Deadman, Mindwarp and Constantine. Looks good on paper, but the story was very disjointed and confusing. More importantly, the lack of character background (I am not familiar with Mindwarp and Shade) was the true turn-off, for me.
As for Constantine... I need to read the second trade paperback to form a definite opinion, but so far so good.


Chew, Vol. 3: Just Desserts
Chew, Vol. 3: Just Desserts

4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious volume., 16 Feb 2014
Most issues collected in "Just Desserts" are on par with the best issues of the series I've read so far, in terms of writing. Chew's creative team (John Layman and the amazing Rob Guillory) have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, and it feels like they're only scratching the surface.
Plot-wise, after the madness of International Flavor, we get to learn more about Tony Chu, his family and some of his past acquaintances. The intriguing dynamics between Chu and his family members are the definite highlight of the book. As for the rest, tensions are building-up slowly but surely between our protagonist and his enemy, Savoy. Oh, and Director Applebee is still being a jerk.
Just Desserts is an ambitious transition volume, a set-up for the next exciting installments.


Swamp Thing Vol. 3: Rotworld: The Green Kingdom (Swamp Thing Volume (The New 52))
Swamp Thing Vol. 3: Rotworld: The Green Kingdom (Swamp Thing Volume (The New 52))
Price: £8.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing denouement to the Rotworld story arc., 16 Feb 2014
The denouement to Scott Snyder's Swamp Thing was something I was truly looking forward to. "Rotworld: The Green Kingdom" did not disappoint.

I was expecting a lot of action, clever plot developments, the usual sombre Swamp Thing touch and loads of butt-kicking. I am glad to say Scott Snyder (with a little help from Jeff Lemire) did deliver, and nicely so. Yanick Paquette's art is breathtaking, as usual, but I thought Andrew Belanger's (Animal Man issue #17) was lousy and amateurish. However, it did not diminish the awesomeness of Rotworld, which was a pleasure to read; as the tension kept escalating, so did my enjoyment. Snyder, also being a Batman scribe, succeeded in integrating Swamp Thing into Gotham City. A large number of characters from the DC Universe come into play to help our protagonist and Animal Man defeat Arcade (others to prevent them from doing that). As the plot develops, we witness the growth of Swamp Thing as a character; he now understands and accepts the importance of sacrifice for the greater good. By the time we reach the amazing conclusion to the brilliant Rotworld story arc, we are left satisfied and longing for more. Alan Moore's Swamp Thing is next on my list !


Lobo/Mask (Books 1-2 Complete)
Lobo/Mask (Books 1-2 Complete)
by John Arcudi
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Soaringly funny!, 14 Feb 2014
This is the best comic book crossover I have ever read. This outstandingly ridiculous and pointless book is hilarious, and very-well executed. One of the previous wearers of "The Mask" hired Lobo to apprehend the current wearer, who is described as a terrorist. What ensues is an epic and gory confrontation between the Main Man and the Mask, a lot of humor and an excellent ending.
Who cares about the depth of the story, when the goal of this book is to entertain. So, unless you are looking for a life-altering, serious and philosophical book, you will enjoy Lobo/Mask


Lobo Unbound TP
Lobo Unbound TP
by Keith Giffen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.28

2.0 out of 5 stars Uninspired story / Great art., 14 Feb 2014
This review is from: Lobo Unbound TP (Paperback)
How can you not dig the Main Man ? He's funny, nearly unbeatable, extremely provocative and violent. Plus, he's a bounty hunter, and he likes Heavy Metal. Be that as it may, this graphic novel does not live up to the Lobo name; it is uninspired and unfunny.

Sorry, Mr. Giffen, I have the utmost respect for you, but what the hell were you thinking ? I did not expect the most mind-blowing plot of comic-book history, it's a Lobo story after all, but nothing really interesting happens in "Lobo : Unbound". When the "Main Man" encountered the species of parody Arabs, I though I was in for a treat, but as it turns out, the characters were dull and vapid, and the story tedious. The occasional jokes fell flat, and the big shocking event at the end... is completely anti-climatic.

The only saving grace of this book is the phenomenal art by Alex Horley.


Swamp Thing Vol. 2: Family Tree (Swamp Thing Volume (The New 52))
Swamp Thing Vol. 2: Family Tree (Swamp Thing Volume (The New 52))
Price: £7.12

4.0 out of 5 stars Great - Could have been greater., 11 Feb 2014
After having enjoyed the first volume, "Raise Them Bones", which left me excited about the rest of Scott Snyder's run on Swamp Thing, I couldn't help but feeling a little bit let down by "Family Tree".

Don't get me wrong, this second volume is a great read. It collects different storylines (a lot of flashbacks) that were action-packed for the most part, well-written and very well-drawn. Moreover, the introduction of the very powerful villain Anton Arcane to the mythos makes the story even more interesting, giving Swamp Thing a truly worthy adversary and also bringing to light the inner struggles of Abby Arcane. However, it did not live up to the excellence of "Raise Them Bones". Plus, I expected Swamp Thing to do a little more butt-kicking but in comics, patience is key. The build-up part was very satisfying - I expect to be dazzled by "Rotworld".


Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones (The New 52) (Swamp Thing Volume (The New 52))
Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Raise Them Bones (The New 52) (Swamp Thing Volume (The New 52))
Price: £7.12

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 10 Feb 2014
I remember reading Alan Moore's Swamp Thing when I was a kid, and not liking it at all. It was different, weird (for a 7/8 year-old), and scary, so I stuck with JLA and Thor comics.

19 years later, I decide to give Swamp Thing another go. I wanted to get Alan Moore's run but they were sold out. I knew Scott Snyder from Batman and American Vampire, and was familiar with his talent as a horror writer.

I was very surprised by the greatness of this book. I wish I had read Alan Moore's run first to have a better grasp of the world of Swamp Thing and to be able to compare it to this new take, but it does not change the fact that Snyder/Paquette created a stunning piece of horror fiction.

Alec Holland, back from the dead, is trying to live a quiet life, but is still haunted by the memories of "The Monster", or Swamp Thing. He is approached by the Parliament of Trees that warn him about a cataclysmic threat the planet is facing. Holland remains inflexible about surrendering to the "Green" to become Swamp Thing once again. Then... all hell breaks loose. This adrenaline rush of a book takes Swamp Thing to new heights. The stunningly horrific art by Yanick Paquette (not a fan of Marco Rudy's though) and story and character study by Scott Snyder make the book a very thrilling read.

I highly recommend it to any horror enthusiast out there.I remember reading Alan Moore's Swamp Thing when I was a kid, and not liking it at all. It was different, weird (for a 7/8 year-old), and scary, so I stuck with JLA and Thor comics.

19 years later, I decide to give Swamp Thing another go. I wanted to get Alan Moore's run but they were sold out. I knew Scott Snyder from Batman and American Vampire, and was familiar with his talent as a horror writer.

I was very surprised by the greatness of this book. I wish I had read Alan Moore's run first to have a better grasp of the world of Swamp Thing and to be able to compare it to this new take, but it does not change the fact that Snyder/Paquette created a stunning piece of horror fiction.

Alec Holland, back from the dead, is trying to live a quiet life, but is still haunted by the memories of "The Monster", or Swamp Thing. He is approached by the Parliament of Trees that warn him about a cataclysmic threat the planet is facing. Holland remains inflexible about surrendering to the "Green" to become Swamp Thing once again. Then... all hell breaks loose. This adrenaline rush of a book takes Swamp Thing to new heights. The stunningly horrific art by Yanick Paquette (not a fan of Marco Rudy's though) and story and character study by Scott Snyder make the book a very thrilling read.

I highly recommend it to any horror enthusiast out there.


Our Blood In Its Blind Circuit
Our Blood In Its Blind Circuit
Price: £3.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-bending fiction., 10 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Reading Our Blood In Its Blind Circuit was, in some way, the literary equivalent of listening to a Mr. Bungle album. Just like "California" or "Disco Volante" this opus spans genres galore: from Noir to Bizarro to crime to western-horror to science-fiction... I lost count !

The sheer brilliance and imagination of the short stories collected in the book blew me away. As each story unfolds, we are introduced to fascinating characters and truly amazing ideas that are, for the most part, very-well executed. My favorite of the bunch is "Amends Due, West of Glorieta", which is a heart-wrenching western story about revenge, and love.
"Tesseract", "Imprinting", "Three Theories on the Murder of John Wily" and "The Thick Fog of the Alabaster Mountains" also struck a big chord.

The realm of J David Osborne's imagination is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Next stop : "Low Down Death Right Easy".


Vampire Conditions
Vampire Conditions
Price: £1.92

4.0 out of 5 stars True-to-life, poignant and raw., 9 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Brian Allen Carr came highly recommended to me from several authors and friends whose literary judgments I trust. They were right on the money!

Vampire Conditions is a very powerful short story collection. The author sets the tone with "The Paint From Her Hands", in which he depicts the state of mind of a man who suffers the loss of his baby. The strange, almost dream-like narrative was so mesmerizing, I never wanted it to end.

"The First Henley" and "Everything Will Fall its Way" are, in my opinion, the other stand-out pieces of the collection. The former is about the life of a popular gunslinger who lives through a terrible ordeal. The latter is, simply put, one of the most poignant pieces of fiction I have ever read.

Brian Allen Carr does a great job of portraying rural life and its sinister nature. He succeeds in making (most) his characters alive and likeable, genuine and undisguised.


Hurt Others
Hurt Others
Price: £2.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Unique storytelling / Uneven collection, 7 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hurt Others (Kindle Edition)
Hurt Others is my first foray into the world of Sam Pink. The first thought that sprang to mind whilst reading it was Sam Pink would be in great danger if an alien race in search for atypical humans stumbled upon this book.
The author has a very unique way of telling stories. His clean prose is very refreshing and engrossing, his tales are very true to life, sometimes compelling; and most characters are fairly interesting.
The problem with Hurt Others is its unevenness. My favorite story off the collection is Fun; a very relatable, funny and thought-provoking piece. Two Things About Living in Romeoville, Illinois, Juliana and Love also left me smiling and wanting more.
I felt somewhat underwhelmed by the other stories, but the ones I liked had me excited enough to keep on trekking across the Sam Pink universe.


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