One Mad Dog

[Solomon Kane Volume 2: Death’s Black Riders] – (Scott Allie, Mario Guevara, Darick Robertson. Guy Davis)

“Death’s Black Riders” collects #1 to #4 of Dark Horses “Solomon Kane: Death’s Black Riders” series and the “All The Damned Souls At Sea” short story.  It is set in the Black Forest, just like the previous Dark Horse Volume (Castle of the Devil), and features the writing of Scott Allie and art of Mario Guevara.

“Deaths Black Riders” has more of a Conan or even a BPRD/ Hellboy feel to it than Solomon Kane. It is basically one long monster bash from beginning to end and lacks the more considered brooding approach that Solomon Kane normally has. From the moment the book begins the dialogue is confusing and hard to follow and the cluttered and muddy art makes it difficult to figure out just who is talking.  It was quite a way into the book before I actually realized which character was Solomon Kane. The story also suffers from poor pacing and some of the fight scenes and dialogues run on too long.  I quite enjoyed some of the interactions with the priest but the demons were a little too H.P. Lovecraft for my tastes.

Mario Guevara’s artwork was not as good as in the first volume and I found it quite difficult to follow at times.  I liked Guy Davis’s artwork in the short story better but I still struggled a little to follow what was going on once the boat started breaking up. If I hadn’t read the notes in the back of the book I would not have guessed that the boat turned into some kind of sea serpent. Even Guy Davis’s art seemed to be a bit off par. I enjoyed the Mike Mignola TPB cover and Darick Robertson’s excellent single edition covers in the special features.

Death’s Black Riders isn’t a bad book but it suffers from not being a particularly good Solomon Kane adaptation with art that in my opinion is a little substandard. It has some great special features and is still worth a read if you liked the first volume. ISBN-10: 1595825908. 6/10

[The Boys : Vol 4 : We Gotta Go Now] – (Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson)
May 11, 2010, 5:29 am
Filed under: 7 stars, Darick Robertson, Garth Ennis, The Boys

Volume 4 of the Boys has the story of the super hero “G” teams and the Boys attempts to deal with them.  Hughie ends up going under cover with the most unbelievably depraved teen G team with nasty consequences. Just like the rest of the series it is filled with profanity, nudity, disgusting acts and outrageous violence. It has a few laughs but is generally a little more serious than the previous 3 novels.  “We Gotta Go Now” is a little slow at times but it has some great character development and builds up to a really good ending. Darick Robertsons art is really good and some of the extras drawn by guest artists are really well drawn too.  Volume 4 isn’t quite as good as the previous 3 Volumes  but it is still a great read  and if you enjoyed the first 3 you will enjoy this one. [ISBN-13: 978-1606900352]. 7/10

[The Boys Vol. 3: Good for the Soul] – (Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson)
April 8, 2010, 2:55 am
Filed under: 7 stars, Darick Robertson, Garth Ennis, The Boys
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series so I had high hopes for part 3.   This is a really good book and has some very funny (not politically correct) moments. It is as good as the first two books but took a while to get going. Ennis takes a very risky storyline in this issue (think 911) but manages to pull it off with some excellent political satire. This book does a good job of fleshing out Wee Hughie and explaining the superhero back story. This volume collects issues 15-22 of the Boys by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. (ISBN-13: 978-1933305929). 8/10

[The Boys Vol 2 : Get Some] – (Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson)
April 7, 2010, 6:18 am
Filed under: 8 Stars, Darick Robertson, Garth Ennis, The Boys

This second Edition of The Boys collects issues 7-14 .  This novel features two story arcs that are both really good. The first story is a sort of detective story where the Boys try to find the killer of a young boy and just how the mighty Tek-Knight is involved. It is a well written story that does a great job of fleshing out the characters developed in the first novel. Just like the first novel it does step on the toes of many taboos but it is done in such a way as to be entertaining rather than shocking. It moves the overall plot along nicely.

The second story involves the team flying into Russia to solve the mystery of  exploding “Supes”.  This is a fantastic story with great characters and backdrops. My favorite  character was  the ex Russian Superhero “Love Sausage” who has some fantastic one liners that had me laughing out loud.

“Get Some” is violent, crude, gory and way off being even partially politically correct. Ennis is on top of his game here and he is complemented by Robertson’s superb artwork. [ISBN-13: 978-1933305684]. 8/10

[The Boys Vol. 1: The Name of the Game] – (Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson)
April 6, 2010, 6:12 am
Filed under: 9 stars, Darick Robertson, Garth Ennis, The Boys

Garth Ennis steps up the violence, profanity and nudity another notch in this excellent graphic novel series.  Although it is in some ways more  risky than even “the Preacher”  it makes light of it.  The “Boys” is about a group of misfits that exist to keep Superheroes in check. This is very much an anti superhero book and they are definitely painted as the villains. This is a very funny and well written novel and it has plenty of shock value too.  The character development is top notch and the British bulldog “Terror” is an absolute star. Special mention must go to Darick Robertsons artwork that really is perfectly suited to this story.[ISBN-13: 978-1933305738]. 9/10

[Punisher Max : Born] – (Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson)
April 6, 2010, 2:34 am
Filed under: 8 Stars, Darick Robertson, Garth Ennis, Punisher
A great prequel to the Punisher series where Garth Ennis explores Frank Castles Vietnam war history and gives a big hint as to why The Punisher is such a killing machine. Extremely well written and illustrated TPB collecting 4 issues of Punisher Born with some nice extras too. Its message might be a lttle bit uncomfortable for some but I found it to be a great read and easily on Par with the rest of the Punisher Max series. In my childhood I was a big fan of the war comic “Warlord” and I still have a very soft spot for war stories. I think Garth Ennis handles this subject very well. (ISBN-13: 978-0785110255). 8/10

[Punisher By Garth Ennis Omnibus HC] – (Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, Darick Robertson, Tom Mandrake, Cam Kennedy, John McCrea, Dougie Braithwaite, Joe Quesada)

Fantastic collection of punisher stories by Garth Ennis in an absolutely humungous hard cover book. Not as hard edged as the MAX series but no worse for this. Garth really is the master of the Punisher. The artwork is also very good.  The only slightly weak area in this collection was where Superheroes were included. I think Garth really struggles with superheroes and I thought the final superhero showdown was pretty week. Garth’s take on Wolverine was also horrible. This book is an amazing collection and it collects the following:

  • PUNISHER (2000) #1-12
  • PUNISHER (2001) #1-7 and #13-37.

(ISBN-10: 0785133836). 8/10