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Angel and Faith, Season 10, Issue 5 "Old Habits"
Angel and Faith, Season 10, Issue 5 "Old Habits"
by Victor Gischler
Edition: Comic

5.0 out of 5 stars Issue #5 - “Old Habits”, 21 April 2015
The story running through Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 issues #1-5 is collected as Angel and Faith: Season Ten Volume 1: Where the River Meets the Sea (Angel & Faith). For a review of the full storylines running through the individual issues, follow that link.

Issue #5 - “Old Habits” - is a stand-alone story (by a different artist to give the regular guy a chance to keep up) which mainly features Giles’ Great-Aunts, who are used by Angel as bait to trap a new-style vampire who is targeting shoppers in Central London in broad daylight. Shopping day in and day out, you say? Who do you call? Sophie and Lavinia! There are also future plot elements being set up here, so it is not all fun and shopping.


Angel and Faith, Season 10, Issue 4 "Where the River Meets the Sea: Part Four"
Angel and Faith, Season 10, Issue 4 "Where the River Meets the Sea: Part Four"
by Victor Gischler
Edition: Comic

5.0 out of 5 stars Issue #4 - “Where the River Meets the Sea 4/4”, 21 April 2015
The story running through Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 issues #1-5 is collected as Angel and Faith: Season Ten Volume 1: Where the River Meets the Sea (Angel & Faith). For a review of the full storylines running through the individual issues, follow that link.

Issue #4 - “Where the River Meets the Sea 4/4” - sees Angel in a big fight with Pearl and the Pixies, as we discover what they have been up to with the magic bottles - but not the why.

Meanwhile, Faith is on her way out the door of Deepscan (Slayers Inc.) when Kennedy offers her a new assignment - tracking down a missing person, who is one of Buffy’s former boyfriends…

The final scene reveals just who the Pixies have been bottling magic for. An old friend/foe of Buffy and Willow’s from waaay back in high school.


Angel and Faith, Season 10, Issue 3 "Where the River Meets the Sea: Part Three"
Angel and Faith, Season 10, Issue 3 "Where the River Meets the Sea: Part Three"
by Victor Gischler
Edition: Comic

5.0 out of 5 stars Issue #3 - “Where the River Meets the Sea 3/4”, 21 April 2015
The story running through Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 issues #1-5 is collected as Angel and Faith: Season Ten Volume 1: Where the River Meets the Sea (Angel & Faith). For a review of the full storylines running through the individual issues, follow that link.

Issue #3 - “Where the River Meets the Sea 3/4” - opens with faith trying to stake the client she is supposed to be guarding, due to him being a demon. However, as Kennedy explains after she has dragged her off him, it was all in the briefing notes that Faith didn’t bother reading…

Angel meanwhile is looking deeper into the Pixies’ conspiracy, and finds yet another big magical creature, this time making magic bottles. What do you put in magic bottles? Pearl is on hand to explain…


ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #2 MAIN CVR
ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #2 MAIN CVR
by Victor Gischler
Edition: Comic

5.0 out of 5 stars Issue #2 - “Where the River Meets the Sea 2/4”, 21 April 2015
The story running through Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 issues #1-5 is collected as Angel and Faith: Season Ten Volume 1: Where the River Meets the Sea (Angel & Faith). For a review of the full storylines running through the individual issues, follow that link.

Issue #2 - “Where the River Meets the Sea 2/4” - sees Faith settling in (or not) to her new job with Kennedy’s Slayers Inc., where her first big job is as bodyguard to a rock star - but when the father of one of his groupies breaks in and attacks him, he reveals his true face:
Faith: “Okay…NOW its slayer time!”

Angel meanwhile has been hunting down the homicidal Pixies, who have recruited a strong-arm monster to help out. He also finds a police detective who wants to team up with him to keep the streets of Magictown safe, now that the elected authorities have abandoned it.


ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #1 MAIN CVR
ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #1 MAIN CVR
by Victor Gischler
Edition: Comic

5.0 out of 5 stars Issue #1 - “Where the River Meets the Sea 1/4”, 21 April 2015
The story running through Dark Horse Comics’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 issues #1-5 is collected as Angel and Faith: Season Ten Volume 1: Where the River Meets the Sea (Angel & Faith). For a review of the full storylines running through the individual issues, follow that link.

Issue #1 - “Where the River Meets the Sea 1/4” - finds out two title characters separated by the Atlantic Ocean, as Faith and Giles are found in California (courtesy of Kennedy’s corporate jet) joining in the cast reunion taking place in the opening volume of Buffy’s series (Buffy Season Ten Vol. 1: New Rules (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)); while Angel is his usual brooding self hanging around Magictown (in London), where he runs into a gang (flight?) of pixies mugging one of the locals. These Pixies are up to no good, and Angel eventually finds his way to a mysterious woman who has been handing cryptic warnings out to the locals, and sees a familiar face…


Angel and Faith: Season Ten Volume 1: Where the River Meets the Sea (Angel & Faith)
Angel and Faith: Season Ten Volume 1: Where the River Meets the Sea (Angel & Faith)
by Victor Gischler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Alone again, naturally..., 21 April 2015
The story running through Dark Horse Comics' Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 issues #1-5 is collected as Angel and Faith: Season Ten Volume 1: Where the River Meets the Sea (Angel & Faith). This is an excellent opening volume to the season that finds out two title characters separated by the Atlantic Ocean, as Faith and Giles are found in California (courtesy of Kennedy's corporate jet) joining in the cast reunion in the opening volume of Buffy's series (Buffy Season Ten Vol. 1: New Rules (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)); while Angel is his usual brooding self having made himself responsible for the London Borough of Magictown, which he feels is his duty to police since he was the cause of its creation.

The first four issues give the collection its title, and feature, for Angel, a storyline that sees him establish himself as the guardian (Angel!) of Magictown, through a series of scenes that build upon his well-established character traits, that lead him naturally on to the decision - it is not just something that is foisted on him because the plot requires it, it is his decision, as it were, because that's who he is, as established by the character that we have seen through many previous stories.

Faith, meanwhile, is a bit of a loose cannon, and has not yet found a role for herself; she is especially affected by witnessing Giles' rather emotional reunion with Buffy. She takes a job with Kennedy's Slayers Inc., where her long-established personality traits soon cause friction with her co-workers - bearing in mind that the majority of the cast of Slayers are still teenagers or in their early twenties, so this is still a high-school situation for many of them - and Faith herself never did take well to discipline, either self-imposed or external. She also has trouble with some of the corporation's clients, especially when one of turns out to be a demon, and old habits die hard. Her storyline ends with an assignment to find a missing person - one of Buffy's many ex-boyfriends...

Both these story-strands rely on long-established character traits of the main characters to get them where they are going, and not on external plot requirements - this series is in the hands of an excellent writer; and the artwork is truly superb, with almost perfect likenesses of the lead actors from the TV show - and not just portrait images either, but in action situations as well. This is a superb opening storyline, with artwork that is superior to the Buffy comic that is running in parallel.

As is customary with the series, the fifth issue is a stand-alone story (by a different artist to give the regular guy a chance to keep up) which mainly features Giles' Great-Aunts, who are used by Angel as bait to trap a new-style vampire who is targeting shoppers in Central London in broad daylight. Shopping day in and day out, you say? Who do you call? Sophie and Lavinia! There are also future plot elements being set up here, so it is not all fun and shopping.


[ Nemo: The Roses of Berlin Moore, Alan, Sir ( Author ) ] { Hardcover } 2014
[ Nemo: The Roses of Berlin Moore, Alan, Sir ( Author ) ] { Hardcover } 2014
by Alan, Sir Moore
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another exercise in name-dropping, 20 April 2015
The thought-criminal Alan Moore once more allies himself with the enemies of the Country that nurtured him in another exercise in name-dropping featuring Captain Nemo’s daughter. This time it is 1941 in the universe of fictitious characters, and Germany is at war with someone or other, the Germany of Adolph Hynkel, who, allied with the robot from Lang’s Metropolis and Doctor Caligari, is going about his nefarious business. Nemo’s 15-year-old daughter has apparently been captured along with her husband (the 15-year-old’s that is, not Nemo’s), Robur, and Nemo and husband Jack set out for Berlin to rescue them. They are helped along the way by Doctor Mabuse, and meet Ayesha, She-who-must-be-obeyed, who is one of Hynkel’s allies, and a mortal enemy of Nemo. There is much spectacular stage-dressing, as Lang’s Metropolis is the new Berlin (or the old Berlin is now Metropolis), and there is much speaking in German, and a little French, without the aid of editorial translation. That’s about it.

The artwork is spectacular, but the plot is quite thin. If you like these little books of Mr Moore, then you will find this one to your taste. I enjoyed it more than the previous volume Nemo: Heart of Ice, as there was actually a plot, and not just a fit of pique. Half the dialogue being foreign was a mild annoyance, but probably not as annoying as if I understood it.

A minor quibble – down our way, the river that runs through Berlin is the Spree, a tributary of the Havel, and not the Elbe, as in Nemo’s universe.


Nemo: River of Ghosts (Nemo Trilogy 3)
Nemo: River of Ghosts (Nemo Trilogy 3)
by Alan Moore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Into the Heart of Darkness, 20 April 2015
This is the latest episode in the story of the Nemo dynasty, which brings the adventures of Captain Nemo II to a close. The previous episodes have been light on plot, motivation, character and stuff; though this one is not quite as shallow in those areas. This is also a sequel of sorts to the previous episode, as we are now hunting for Ayesha (She-who-must-be-obeyed), who we are pursuing up the Amazon into the heart of darkness (cue Wagner soundtrack), where we will find a secret Nazi base, where secretive Nazis are busy with their secret cloning and roboting experiments. It is now 1975, and Captain Nemo II is aged, with a young grandson running around the island and stowing away on submarines and stuff. Captain Grandmother Nemo, being quite old, has recruited a handyman to help out on the mission, one Hugo Hercules, a short-lived character from the Platinum Age of American comics, who was a strong-man, akin to an old and venerable British comic character, who is merged with him, and whose fondness for Sacred Cow Pies causes friction with some of the Sikh and Hindu crewmembers.

Anyway, the voyage upriver brings some spectacular sights, such as the sunken cities of Mu, and the last spawning ground of the Creatures from the Black Lagoon. There is also an aerial excursion to Maple White Land. These last two items will actually tie in to events later in the story, surprisingly enough, as normally we just get a catalogue of names and places in these stories, but in this one there is a bit of structure showing.

The final destination of the mission reveals a secret Nazi base, as I mentioned above, and we get to see a few classic Nazi mad-scientist operations in play, before the finale, along with cross-references to earlier stories.

This is a very good ending to the series, and has much more of the feel of a proper story to it than the earlier volumes. Maybe the volumes need to be read as chapters rather than stand-alone stories to better appreciate them; or perhaps not. Anyway, if you have read the previous volumes, prepare to be pleasantly surprised; and if you haven’t, prepare to be a bit confused.

There is a little afterwordy sort of thing, set in 1987, with the unveiling of a statue to the captain Grandmother, as her grandson comes of age, and we see the surviving cast members preparing for the next generation of stories.


[ Garth Ennis Complete Battlefields Volume 3 Hc Ennis, Garth ( Author ) ] { Hardcover } 2014
[ Garth Ennis Complete Battlefields Volume 3 Hc Ennis, Garth ( Author ) ] { Hardcover } 2014
by Garth Ennis
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb collection of war stories, 20 April 2015
This volume collects the third set of Dynamite Comics’ Battlefields mini-series by Garth Ennis. These are superb and often unusual stories, showing the real horrors of war that our parents and grandparents endured. This time, the stories, featuring recurring characters from previous stories in the series, take place during the Korean War and the Cold War.

Garth Ennis' Battlefields Volume 7: The Green Fields Beyond TP (Battlefields (Dynamite))
This is a ‘typical’ Garth Ennis story, with lots of graphic violence and language, though not out of place in this story set in the Korean War, which is seen from the viewpoint of some British tank crewmembers, who get separated from their unit and find themselves in the middle of the still remembered last stand of the Gloucester Regiment. Mr Ennis has mastered the depiction of the regional accents of the British soldiers to a ‘T’. Although a true story in general, the two central characters are tied in to previous stories in this series, one Sergeant Stiles, a veteran of British tanks in Second World War, and his new gunner, Trooper Robinson, younger brother of one of Stiles’ crewmembers in the Normandy campaign. This really is a superior war comic, showing the horrors the soldiers went through, as well as the camaraderie and humour that kept them going. I cannot praise this enough.

Garth Ennis' Battlefields Volume 8: The Fall And Rise Of Anna Kharkova TP (Battlefields (Dynamite))
This is an interesting return to the story of the ‘Night Witches’ from Battlefields: Night Witches: 1 (Battlefields (Dynamite)). This time we follow Anna Kharkova from her capture by the Germans towards the end of the Second World War, through the Stalinist trials for ‘traitors’ who allowed themselves to be captured, her rescue from them by (the now promoted) Major ‘Mouse’; their adventures in the Koran war, when Anna’s insubordination gets them sent to Siberia, and finally her last flight in a stolen super-MIG 21 in the 1960s. It is an interesting look at the fate of Soviet war-heroes who cross the political officers (NKVD/KGP etc.) who appear to have unlimited power, but only to influence the fate of individuals for the worse. For all the Western liberal posturing about the freedom of the individual, the vast majority of the world’s population have never experienced it, and never will. The ending is another bit of ‘romantic’ posturing, as the only real option in these circumstances is suicide or treason, and this is likely to be, despite the avoidance of the question, is likely to be the former.. I gave the original edition 4-stars, because Mr Ennis is such a good writer, and, despite the ending, it is still a very interesting story.

This really is a superior war comic, showing the horrors the soldiers went through, as well as the camaraderie and humour that kept them going. I cannot praise it enough.


[ Red Sonja, Volume 1: Queen of the Plagues Simone, Gail ( Author ) ] { Paperback } 2014
[ Red Sonja, Volume 1: Queen of the Plagues Simone, Gail ( Author ) ] { Paperback } 2014
by Gail Simone
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Drinking Song of Red Sonja, 20 April 2015
The story running through issues #1-6 of Dynamite Comics’ latest Red Sonja series is collected as Red Sonja Volume 1: Queen of the Plagues. It is a good ‘swords and sorcery’ story, telling the origin of Red Sonja against the background of a relatively epic adventure, with good artwork and scripting, but it did nothing for me. I felt little for the characters, some of whom were well developed, and some of whom, despite being well-illustrated and scripted, were, for want of a better term, ‘stock’ characters for a barbarian story. It is probably a very ‘authentic’ story in terms of showing the world described by Robert E. Howard, and fans of the character and her world will probably want to give it a higher star rating than I did, but it did nothing for me. DC Comics’ Demon Knights was a much more interesting ‘sword and sorcery’ title, for example; and the adventures of Dejah Thoris in this publishers Edgar Rice Burroughs franchise can at least be laughed at for its exploitativeness; but this story is just dull but worthy.


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