The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die. Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David."
From The Blog
April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
Leah Schnelbach
April 22, 2015
The Old Guy Action Comeback: I’m Getting Too Old for This Sh*t
Ryan Britt
April 20, 2015
The Net is the Meat: Bruce Holsinger’s Middle Ages
David Perry
April 17, 2015
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
Kelly Quinn
April 16, 2015
The Disney Read-Watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Mari Ness
Showing posts by: Stephen Aryan click to see Stephen Aryan's profile
Jul 27 2011 2:34pm

The Price of Freedom: The Homeland Directive

The Homeland DirectiveThe Homeland Directive is a fast-paced political action thriller that explores the boundary between personal freedom and security. How much of the former are you willing to give up for the latter? How much personal information are you willing to share with the state, if it keeps you safe? What happens if they ask for more than you’re willing to give?

Dr. Laura Regan finds herself dragged into the middle of a struggle between two shadowy organisations, each with their own agenda and secrets. Torn out of her normal life and forced to go on the run after being labeled a murderer, Laura discovers a conspiracy that affects the lives of every American and has the potential to change the world.

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Jul 20 2011 4:15pm

Gateway to Comic Book Movies: Captain America

After the recent success of movies from Marvel Studios such as the X-Men franchise, Iron Man, and most recently Thor, Marvel are now bringing one of their most human characters to the big screen; Captain America.

Since the comic book series was relaunched in 2005 under the guidance of its writer, Ed Brubaker, it has remained consistently popular. The character even appeared in global news headlines in 2007 after much publicity surrounding the death of Captain America. Although the average person may have a general awareness of Captain America, its likely they won’t be able to tell you much about him. At its core, Captain America is about a man who wants to serve his country and ends up becoming a symbol that inspires others to greatness. But who is the man, Steve Rogers, behind the mask? And what makes him so special?

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Jul 13 2011 5:02pm

Gateway to Comics: Echo by Terry Moore

Echo by Terry MooreWildlife photographer Julie Martin witnesses an explosion while out in the desert near Moon Lake. Liquid metal rains down from the sky, some of which lands on her skin, fusing there permanently. (Or so it seems.) Unknown to Julie but known to the reader, the explosion (and the metal) was the result of a military experiment gone wrong.

The military soon discovers Julie’s presence, however, and sets out to reclaim their property, as well as any evidence of its existence. Now being hunted, Julie goes on the run, desperate to find out what is happening to her and what they were trying to cover up.

[Read more]

Jun 29 2011 2:21pm

Gateway to Comics: The Scorpion

The Scorpion is a swashbuckling action-adventure comic set in Rome during the second half of the eighteen century. The Devil’s Mark is the first volume of an ongoing series which introduces us to the titular main character and sets the stage for further adventures. The easiest way to summarise the story is to imagine an Indiana Jones-style action comic with grave robbing, where the main character is slightly less noble and more interested in the artefacts as a means of improving his personal wealth. Armando Catalano, The Scorpion, is not just an acquirer of relics, he is also an infamous brigand who regularly clashes with figures in authority when he is not out enjoying himself. But there is a lot more to the handsome rogue than meets the eye, and now someone powerful has targeted him for death just as he stumbles across a dangerous plot.

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Jun 22 2011 4:29pm

Only Human: Sweet Tooth, Volume 3: Animal Armies

Sweet Tooth: Animal ArmiesAnimal Armies is the third volume of Sweet Tooth, an ongoing post-apocalyptic series from Vertigo Comics that takes place ten years after a terrible plague called the Affliction kills billions around the world. The story follows a unusual boy named Gus, one of the human/animal hybrid children that have been born since the plague. No one knows what caused the Affliction or the hybrid children, but with no normal children being born, they are an easy target for blame. Gus is also an innocent, born into a savage world where his kind are hated and only the strong survive. When a loner comes knocking at Gus’s door his life is turned upside down forever.

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Jun 15 2011 4:12pm

Gateway to Comic Book Movies—Green Lantern

DC Comics’ most well known characters are Batman and Superman. With two extremely successful Christopher Nolan-led Batman movies and a refresh of the Superman franchise on the way, DC and Warner Brothers are keen to raise the profile of other comic book characters from their stable. The first is Green Lantern, which hits movie theatres later this week. With a character who is nearly an unknown to the general public there needs to be more exposition in the promotion to get them interested. There has been a big marketing push to try and cover the basics, but there are still many unanswered questions, such as who is Hal Jordan and why was he chosen to be a Green Lantern? What is a Green Lantern? What is it with all the shiny jewelry? Where did the ring come from? And if I enjoy the movie, is there a good place to start with Green Lantern comics?

[Read More…..]

Jun 8 2011 4:00pm

Rainy Days—Batgirl: The Flood

By day, Stephanie Brown is an ordinary college student at Gotham University, but by night she is Batgirl, Gotham’s latest crime fighter. After a few years of battling criminals in different guises, she’s hitting her stride and even got a thumbs up from the Jim Gordon, the Police Commissioner. When her friend, Oracle, is targeted by an old enemy bearing a grudge, Stephanie flies in to battle against hordes of techno-zombies. It’s just another day in Gotham for the new Batgirl.

“[

Jun 1 2011 3:30pm

Gateway to Comic Book Movies—X-Men: First Class

After three X-Men movies and one Wolverine prequel movie, people around the world (outside the comic book community) are now at least vaguely familiar with the X-Men. This week a new X-Men prequel movie, X-Men: First Class, is set to hit the big screen, but what is it actually all about? Why did Stan Lee and Jack Kirby create the X-Men comic back in the early 1960s? Underneath the spandex costumes and mutant superpowers, what is the real story? And where is a good place to get into the X-Men? (Some spoilers for the film under the cut.)

[Read More…]

May 25 2011 3:03pm

Gateway to Comics: The Complete Maus

Maus is one of the most critically acclaimed graphic novels ever written, and it was also the winner of the Pulitzer Prize Special Award in 1992. Maus is a historical biography about Vladek Spiegelman, a Polish Jew, and his experiences during World War II as a prisoner of war. His son, Art Spiegelman, chronicles his father’s life both as an old man trying to adjust to the modern world, and as a young man who sees his home, liberties and freedom taken away by the Nazis. Maus is an incredibly emotional, powerful and harrowing story about survival.

[Read More…..]

May 18 2011 12:38pm

King For Days: DV8: Gods and Monsters

DV8 Gods and MonstersDV8, the characters and the comic, was originally created in the 1990s by Wildstorm Comics, which was then under the Image Comics umbrella. The idea behind the characters was a dark take on the same concept behind Marvel’s X-Men. Kids are born with powers (or the potential for them), but instead of being gathered and trained by a kindly professor, DV8 explored what it would be like if those kids were essentially bought by a menacing commercial interest and trained as mercenaries.

The characters and the book got shelved during DC Comics’ eventual acquisition of Wildstorm, but resurfaced recently in an eight issue mini-series written by Brian Wood, a Brooklyn comic writer with a known track record at writing realistic teenagers with powers. (Demo, New York Five, DMZ)

I was only vaguely aware of the previous series of DV8 but I was still able to enjoy this series without the need for background research. Each of the characters, their powers and relationship to one another, are introduced in such a way that it can be read independently of any other comic.

[Everyone gets to be king for a day]

May 11 2011 4:12pm

Entertaining Monsters: Secret Six, “The Reptile Brain”

Secret Six

Secret Six is one of DC comics best kept secrets and I think it is a comic that a lot more people should be talking about. A comic about villains might initially not sound appealing but there are number of advantages it has over other titles which add up to make it an interesting read. I enjoy superhero comics, but as a mature reader I find myself drawn more to stories which have a darker edge to them, such as Secret Six.

The Secret Six are a group of criminals and super villains who work together as mercenaries for hire. These are not tortured anti-heroes or characters working towards redemption. They are killers, madmen and monsters who are very good at their jobs.

After an internal dispute the group splits and Bane forms his own group with some new members. He is then offered a job in the distant world of Skartaris, a savage land filled with dinosaurs, monsters from myth, and warring primitive tribes. Meanwhile his former teammates are offered full presidential pardons for all of their past crimes. All they have to do it kill Bane and the others.

[Read more]

May 4 2011 4:37pm

Gateway to Comics: Invincible, Vol 1: Family Matters

Invincible by Robert KirkmanMark Grayson was an ordinary boy until on his seventh birthday his father, Nolan, revealed he was an alien and also Omni-Man, one of Earth’s most powerful superheroes. This meant that one day Mark would develop superpowers of his own and will have to deal with all of responsibilities that come with them. When Mark hits puberty his powers manifest and he teams up with his father, adopting the superhero name Invincible, to protect Earth from danger.

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Apr 27 2011 6:00pm

Gateway to Comics: Fear Agent, Vol. 1: Re-ignition

Gateway to Comics: Fear AgentFear Agent is a science fiction action adventure comic written by Rick Remender and with art by Tony Moore. Alien exterminator and former Earth freedom fighter, Heath Houston, is hired to find out why all communication has stopped from a fuel and trading outpost. He arrives to find the station deserted but there’s something scary scuttling around in the shadows and Heath is going to be its next meal. What follows is a rollercoaster action adventure across space and time where all bets are off and anything can happen. Hold onto your rocket pack, Fear Agent is here.

[Read more]

Apr 20 2011 3:51pm

When Investigating is the Only Thing You’re Good At: Stumptown by Greg Rucka

Stumptown by Greg RuckaDex Parios is a P.I. in Portland. She drinks, smokes, has a gambling problem and hasn’t had a date in years. When her debts start to escalate the casino owner offers a way to clear her tab. Her granddaughter has gone missing and no one has seen the girl for days. It sounds simple enough, but only minutes after Dex visits the girl’s apartment someone physically threatens her and tells her to stay out of other people’s business. So begins the first chapter of “Stumptown and The Case of the Girl Who Took her Shampoo (But Left her Mini).”

[Read more]

Apr 13 2011 5:18pm

Gateway to Comics: Wasteland – The Apocalyptic Edition – Vol. 1

Wasteland is a post apocalyptic ongoing series written by Antony Johnston and drawn by Christopher Mitten from Oni Press. It’s set in a world one hundred years after a global event called the Big Wet, a disaster that wiped away most of humanity and civilisation as we know it. What remained was a dry and dusty world crawling with mutants and hordes of vicious sand people living in the shattered remains of broken cities. Wasteland follows the story of Michael, a traveller who stumbles into the town of Providence, half dead and clutching a weird machine that speaks in a foreign language which is giving directions to a place of myth called A-Ree-Yass-I.

[Read more…]

Apr 5 2011 5:08pm

A Game of Cat and Mouse: Rat Catcher

Rat CatcherAn FBI safe house is set on fire outside El Paso, claiming the lives of several agents and an important witness. His testimony would have helped the authorities take down a local crime boss who had been untouchable. The Rat Catcher is an underworld urban legend, an assassin who silences mob informants, and it looks as if he’s struck again. The only problem is this time he’s made a mistake and there’s a survivor.

Rat Catcher is a self contained crime story and this graphic novel is published under the Vertigo Crime label. Andy Diggle is a well known British comic book writer who has written for Marvel and DC Comics. He also wrote The Losers comic series which was adapted into a movie last year. Rat Catcher marks Diggle’s return to Vertigo comics and it’s a tense and fast paced crime story about the hunt for a man who doesn’t exist.

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Mar 30 2011 4:31pm

Gateway to Comics: Persepolis

Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiPersepolis is an autobiographical graphic novel about a young girl growing up in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. It’s a coming of age story unlike any other I’ve ever read, because the changes in society during this extremely turbulent time affected every aspect of daily life and had a significant impact on her worldview and upbringing. It is a very personal story, but also about much wider issues such as freedom of speech and censorship, rebellion against authority and cultural change.

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Mar 28 2011 2:01pm

I Want It All: Superman: The Black Ring, Vol 1.

During DC's “Blackest Night,” Green Lantern crossover Lex Luthor was given an orange Power Ring which he wielded to defend Earth alongside some of the mightiest heroes and villains on the planet. The ring gave Luthor access to unlimited power, but once the Black Lanterns were defeated it was taken away from him. Now he desperately wants it back; the only problem is that someone is going to extraordinary lengths to see that it doesn’t happen. In this collection of Action Comics #890-#895, written by Paul Cornell and guest-starring Death herself, Luthor finds himself tested and challenged at every stage of his quest.

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Mar 22 2011 12:09pm

A History of Magic: Zatanna: The Mistress of Magic

Zatanna: Mistress of Magic vol. 1Zatanna, the world’s greatest magician, is called in by local police in San Francisco to consult on a grisly crime scene. Someone is making a move on the underworld, several local crime bosses are dead, and the mutated bodies left behind point to magic being involved. A dangerous mystic who traffics in souls wants to expand his empire and the only person able to stop him is Zatanna.

[Read more…]

Mar 18 2011 3:46pm

Reading Comics With...Adrian Tchaikovsky

Adrian TchaikovskyI’m always trying to get more people into reading comics for the first time but it can be a struggle as some regard it as just one genre (superheroes) and not a medium. Some people don’t know about the variety of stories being told and the different ways to tell a story that are unique to the medium. I regularly review comics and talk about them often on my podcast, but my opinion only carries so much weight.

Last year I contacted several fantasy authors to lend a hand by talking about their experiences with comic books, how they into reading comics and what they are currently enjoying at present. This week will be running those short interviews.

Today features Adrian Tchaikovsky, the author of the epic fantasy series Shadows of the Apt. Book 6, The Sea Watch has just come out from Tor Books in the U.K. and book 5, The Scarab Path is scheduled for release in the U.S. from Pyr Books in April of this year.

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