Review: Angela: Queen of Hel #2

Story:

“Their joyous reunion actually a little less “joyous” and a little more “How about I reunite my fist with your ear,” Angela and Sera meet face to face at last!
To rescue her beloved, Angela learns that she cannot steal Sera from Hel–she must conquer Hel, and rewrite the laws as old as death to free them both from the abyss!”

Read more about it on Goodreads.

Angela: Queen of Hel #2

Review:

So we learn some stuff this issue that effects the previous Angela series. In Angela: Asguard’s Assassin Sera was already dead and in Hel but controlling Malekith who was disguised as her.

So Sera’s angry about being left in Hel for a very long time and a lot of magic gets flung about. Angela is all very apologetic and because she’s an angel, who are all about making things fair and repaying debt, she asks Sera to name her price. She’d probably do anything for Sera anyway but the guilt’s making her promise the world. Like getting Sera out of Hel when that’s kind of impossible because she’s dead. There’s also the question of how much she should feel guilty because she didn’t know for quite a while that Sera was dead.

Angela decides to challenge Hela for the throne like the unstoppable force she is, even as she notes that Hela is more than a queen here. More like a goddess and Hel bends to her whims.
Sera being the all knowing narrator tells her she has to go through trials to defeat Hela and Angela doesn’t even stop to consider not doing it. I mean as they’re having this conversation she’s fighting Hela’s minions so she’s already in defiance of her.

The art work is the same as before being the standard super hero type of art for the present but we do get another flashback of Angela’s memories of them together and it’s that beautiful art work again from last week’s flashback. I also love the cover. Sera looks more sad and defeated than you’d think she’d look attacking Angela.

But this comic is ultimately a love story and Sera even references it in her narration. She also breaks the fourth wall a bit. I’m always wary of characters doing that (unless they’re Deadpool), especially when it’s a dramatic story rather than a comedy, which I think is easier to get away with but Sera’s aware of her narrator status and she uses it to her advantage. And you don’t know exactly how her magic works so it could come with her being able to see things.

I’m not usually into romantic stories but I’m fully invested in this one. They would do anything for one another and they don’t just talk about it. They have their quiet sweet moments like Angela having cold feet in bed. Then they also have a lot of power individually but together they seem unstoppable and I really want to see what the consequences of Angela being queen of Hel is. Ripping things apart for the one you love is nice and everything but you can’t go messing other people up because something went wrong.

I can’t wait to see what the other trials are and I hope they won’t be quite so easy as the first one. I want Angela to be really challenged. She is fighting to take over Hel after all that should be a hard thing to do, even for Angela.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Previous Review Angela: Queen of Hel #1                                         Next Review Angela: Queen of Hel #3

Review: Constantine: The Hellblazer #3

Story:

“Someone is murdering ghosts, a supernatural crime so impossible to solve that John Constantine is forced to return to London and seek help from the one person he hates more than any other; a magician above reproach, a darling of London high society, and a friend to superheroes everywhere. She is Georgiana Snow…the HECKBLAZER!”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Constantine: The Hellblazer #3

Review:

So we delve more into Constantine’s past this issue but I really don’t like the art they use for it. It’s all very purple and I find it off putting. There’s also a change of artist for the non flashback bits as well and I’m not keen on that either. I really liked the other style in the first and second issue but I guess I’ll get used to this.

Constantine has gone back home to England and is looking up old friends but it appears he doesn’t have many. The only one alive is Georgie who is very competent and makes Constantine look like an arse. He rushes in without thinking and it’s very annoying. I don’t know the character well enough to tell if this is out of character behaviour, having only known him for two issues before this but he was over confident in the last issue so I guess that’s just what he does.

And he gets himself into a lot of trouble that Georgie has to save him from. She works for the supernatural division of MI5 or something like that. She knew Constantine back in the good old days and didn’t really like him then either.

I love the cover though. That really stands out and I love how Constantine is trying to smoke even while Georgie’s crushing him with her boot.

It didn’t really feel like much got accomplished this issue. Other than John annoying Georgie. We learn a bit about his past but none of it really gripped me. I think it must be because of how much I loved the previous issue that this is a bit of a let down.

We get to see how he interacts with others who know about demons and stuff. He’s a bit annoying but I like that the less nice parts of his personality are on show and get criticised. Things like that always make characters feel more human but then you can’t do it too much because the audience has still got to like the character and root for him. This almost crosses that line for me. He messes up and I found myself thinking that he should stay out of Georgie’s way but then he had a very humanising moment and you realise how alone he is and I’m back on his side.

While this issue wasn’t as good as the last issue it still develops the mystery of the ghost killer, if only a tiny bit. And I think John and Georgie are going to be a really good pair of characters to play off each other she’s all about studying, high society and being uptight. While he seems to wing stuff and have sex in clubs.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous Review Constantine: The Hellblazer #2                          Next Review Constantine: The Hellblazer #4

Review: Starve #2

Story:

“The scathing look at foodie culture and celebrity chef fandom continues. Think Anthony Bourdain in a Transmet world.”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Starve #2

Review:

The environmental and criminal excess message gets a little more heavy handed this issue as he tracks down a fish that’s thought to be extinct, and if you can find it, costs 100grand per pound. So not only is it exclusively for the wealthy they’re also flaunting their wealth to people who probably can’t afford to eat on a reality TV show.

It does raise some interesting points though. Like why would the wealthy continue to ignore an environmental problem that eventually will effect them just so they can continue to spend more and more money to pretend it’s not happening.

It’s again something that’s going on now and is kind of fascinating. How can you ignore a problem like that? I guess some of it is blissful ignorance but in this day and age it’s hard not to be aware. That’s something you have to work at. You have to shut your mind down at any evidence. And I guess it’s a bit of fatalism. Loads of people think the world’s going to end anyway so I guess you might as well die comfortable.

I just don’t understand how you can be aware of a problem and not help solve it if you are in the position to do so. That’s probably why I’m finding this comic so fascinating.
So Gavin and Sheldon go out drinking thinking they’ve got a lot of time to the next competition but the chef in charge hates Gavin and changes the times. Somewhere between issue 1 and issue 2 Gavin made it to the finals.

We also meet another chef this issue who does what she does for the love of it and not to get rich or famous and Gavin considers joining her as she makes him an offer to start up their own restaurant. It’s a criticism of celebrity culture and doing things to make a a lot of money quickly. Getting rich and being famous aren’t everything.

I don’t like the cover. The fish is placed strangely and I don’t think it looks good. But it does stand out so I guess it does it’s job.

I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get to see him defeat everyone in the first round or in any of the other rounds. The enjoyment I’m getting out of this book is having rich selfish people get what’s coming to them and I want to see more of that. It’s still interesting but maybe I’ve been exposed to too many dystopian stories for this to hold my attention for long. The message also seems to be taking priority over character building and his winning moment this issue felt a little fake to me because of it. Gavin’s getting developed as a character but no one else is and I don’t know how long he can sustain a series by himself.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Previous Review: Starve #1                                                                                              Next Review: Starve #3

Review: Constantine: The Hellblazer #1

Story:

“The dark adventures of DC’s foremost occult detective continue in an all-new series as he investigates the cruelest case he’s ever come across—his own dark history!”

Read more about it on Goodreads.

Constantine: The Hellblazer #1

Review:

This is the first Constantine story I’ve ever read. The only things I know about the character are from that awful movie they made a few years ago and his appearance in The Sandman. I never got around to watching the TV show but I might have if they hadn’t decided to be bi-phobic and make the character straight.

So I know next to nothing about the character or the DC universe in general. I’ve only just started to read super hero comics other than Marvel because of their continued commitment to lie about diversifying their range and then remaining the same. At the moment DC is doing a lot better than Marvel but they can still do better.

I think this is quite a good jumping on point for new readers. I’ve read a few fist issues that had no business being called first issues but this isn’t that. I might not know entirely what’s going on but I don’t feel like I’m reading half a story. This feels like a beginning of something. And it’s a good beginning.

He appears covered in blood in a shop and has to use his magic to get a woman to not call the police and instead clothe him. Then he starts talking to a ghost and in the next few pages more appear and he tells them all to “sod off”. And I’m hooked. I want to know more about this character and this series is about exploring his dark past. I don’t know if I’ll read other runs between issues or just let the series tell the story with no research on my part. Probably the latter.

I really like the art and it suits the story very well. It’s the same as the cover which is Constantine stood alone in a dark alley somewhere. There are a few details that I didn’t notice at first and I enjoy art that does that.

There’s a lot of moral ambiguity in this comic and he even has the ghost calling him on it. He’s not a nice person but he is likable.

He’s also bisexual which is the one thing I did know about the character and the reason I decided to try the book. I want to read more genre stories with queer heroes.

His bisexuality gets explored here. Thankfully it’s not just implied. I hate it when they do that, as if that’s good enough. In one scene he flirts with a man and then goes to have sex with a woman. She’s some sort of demon called Blythe that needs his help. I love the page showing the nine levels of Inferno and the conversation they have as they descend to the bottom level.

There’s so much I love about this comic. He also has a ghostly entourage that only shows up when something’s about to go terribly wrong and it turns out it’s not Blythe that’s the trouble. His narration is entertaining and the last line is a good cliffhanger. I will definitely be reading the next issue.

And I now have a another favourite comic book character. I don’t think he’s really a super hero despite being part of the DC universe. He mentions super heroes but says he works in the shadows. Great first issue and I recommend it to anyone who likes dark fantasy.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Next Constantine: The Hellblazer #2

Review: Starve #1

Story:

“UTENSILS DOWN, HANDS UP! WELCOME TO STARVE! Once the world’s most famous chef, Gavin Cruikshank’s been in a self-imposed exile for years. His little foodie television program has since evolved into STARVE, an arena sport that pits chef against chef for the pleasure of their super-rich patrons. It’s a stain on a once-noble profession, and Chef Gavin is ready to go to war to stop it. Two things stand in his way: his arch rival Roman Algiers, and his adult daughter Angie, who probably just wants her dad back and acting normal.”
Continue reading “Review: Starve #1”

Review: Angela: Queen of Hel #1

Story:

“Stolen from ASGARD, exiled from HEVEN, and robbed of SERA, her greatest companion – ANGELA plunges into the depths of blackest HEL to save her friend…and once there, the lost princess of Asgard will carve out a realm of her very own. All hail ANGELA, THE NEW QUEEN OF HEL!”
Read more about it on Goodreads.

Angela: Queen of Hel #1

Review:

This starts at the end and then jumps around a bit. I’m not usually fond of this type of story telling but it works here. Probably because the title of the book is Angela: Queen of Hel so it’s not much of a spoiler when you open the first page and she’s sat on the throne. We know the destination it’s going to be the journey that’s interesting. That said there might just be a bit too much jumping around and you have to pay attention to if you’re in the just the flashback or the flashback of the flashback.

If you’re a new reader to Angela then all you need to know is Angela and Sera love each other. There’s a lot more back story but you don’t need to know about it for this issue. If you do want to know more then I suggest reading Angela: Asguard’s Assassin and skipping all the Original Sin stuff. And I recommend 1602: Witch Hunter Angela because it was one of the few spin offs of Secret Wars that was any good.

I like how in all her comic titles they name her profession. So far she’s been an assassin, a witch hunter and now the Queen of Hel. I look forward to what career she pursues next. It’ll be hard to top queen. Maybe she can be a goddess.

Out of the two main characters I think I like Sera better and I love her narration of this issue. She’s such a fun character and I think if she wasn’t there Angela wouldn’t be as likable. But she’s so much more than comic relief and she can hold her own in a fight. She’s got power and the cover shows this perfectly.

She sat on the arm of the throne with her hands glowing red while Angela lounges beside her. They both give off this formidable vibe. Angela doesn’t even need to be sat upright to be imposing or powerful. I love this cover. I want this cover as a poster.

The only criticism I have is that as the story jumps back and forth so does the art and it’s a bit jarring. Especially as the flash back art is so much more stunning than the art for the present which looks like standard super hero art and I’m not very fond of it. It doesn’t match the cover either where as the flash back art does.

If you liked the previous Angela series or you like all the Asguardian stuff you’ll like this. And even if you don’t like the story jumping backwards and forwards in this issue it still promises a good story to come.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Next Angela: Queen of Hel #2