CBG01 – THE BEGINNING! (podcast)

Hello everyone and welcome to the inaugural edition of The Comic Book Gents. Your hosts Robbie Rebel, Mark Newton and Chris Vint have a discussion about the comic books they pick up and here is a brief synopsis of what they discussed.
THAT Batgirl cover
The Retro comic book series they collect
How they got into comics
Their thoughts on the upcoming Age of Ultron movie
Their favourite and least favourite comic book movie
Secret Wars and Convergence
And so much more.  If you would like to contact the gents then why not drop them an email –comicbookgents@hotmail.com.  Make sure to subscribe via Itunes and as always, this is the first episode so expect bigger and better things…..we hope!
Major thanks to the ever awesome Dylan Cook for doing our logo and you can find more of his art here –http://happymonkeyshoes.deviantart.com/
Robbie’s Social media
Twitter – @Robbie_Rebel
Retro Rebel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRpf-q4gEpdCUfcYDSXTRYA/feed
Mark’s social media
Twitter – @Mark_Newton89
Marknewtown89 – https://www.youtube.com/user/MarkNewton89
Chris’ social media
Twitter – @Vinto316
Vintomania – https://www.youtube.com/user/Vintomania

Justice League Throne of Atlantis


This BluRay is straight up amazing. The film itself is based on the comic the Throne of Atlantis story arc written by Geoff Johns and serves as a sequel to 2014’s Justice League: War.

The Justice League still isn’t really a team and most of the duties fall upon Cyborg,  for whom without him, the story could fall apart at the seams.

This is a re-introduction of Aquaman and a serves as a reimagining of the character. If you have not seen the other Justice League animated film, there are a few points of interest to be aware of.

First, as a solid team they are not unified. The only members willing to unite is Cyborg, Flash and Shazam. The rest are nearly forced and begged into showing up. Batman, of course doesn’t play by the rules and seems far too busy with Gotham to help out the rest of the team.

The city of Atlantis has been shrouded in mystery for ages and now, with the potential for war with the air breathers at the brink, only one person can truly save both worlds and it may not be who you would expect.

With the talents of Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern), Jerry O’Connell (Superman), Sean Astin (Shazam), and Rosario Dawson (Wonder Woman), they bring a star studded cast with lots of wit and banter, making this film very enjoyable to watch. This film is fast-paced and quick to the point.

We give this animated feature a 4/5. This is available on BluRay and DVD nationwide so run out and buy it today.

Review: Archer and Armstrong 1-4 trade


Review: Archer and Armstrong Trade Collection Issues 1-4

By Christopher Vargas

Written by Fred Van Lente, drawn and colored by Matt Milla

I’ve only been reading comics for about 4 years. During this time, my vices were mostly DC and Marvel, but thanks to Alternative Mindz, I got my hands on Archer and Armstrong, a Valiant title.

Even though this was such a short collection, I was hooked instantly. What caught my attention from the first few pages was just how dynamic the storytelling is. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m a huge fan of the cell shaded character design and gratuitous action and gore style with excessive blood use.

There are so many cool little things thrown into this book that naming them all would be far too long of a review. But one that comes to mind is the addition of little facts here and there about the type of fighting style or technique Archer uses at the time.
This gives it that almost “Burn Notice” approach, the facts you would see in a movie like Sherlock Holmes.

If I had to be critical of anything, the story itself is unique enough, but let’s be real, you’ve heard the ” I wanna destroy the world” scheme many times before. It almost becomes comical at this point. Yet, overall, I will be picking up more and have become very impressed with Valiant.

On a brief side note, what makes the collection worth picking up is its concept and breakdown pages in the back. I give this a solid 3.5/5.

Review: Madefire’s Houses of the Holy #9

By: A. Kirana


Houses of the Holy continues to deliver.  Since my initial review, I have caught up with the past episodes, which I highly recommend doing so.  The episodes are short, quick reads, but the caliber of the storytelling is in no way affected by the brevity in its telling.  Each episode draws you further into this nightmarish tale, set in Nazi ruled 1930s Berlin.  If the horror of the era was not enough, it is made even more so by the three monsters terrorizing the area.

Magda Bescu, the immortal child vampire with a brain tumor that is just as immortal as she is.  Welcome, a basilisk, who in its final stage of life turns to stone and has chosen to become a house where Magda resides.  Finally, Gottlieb Kunst, Director of the Ministry of Propaganda; though he may be human, he may be the most monstrous of the three.

This is not your ordinary vampire tale, and I urge you not to dismiss it based on the recent crop of sparkly vampires saturating the literary world.  Magda’s character is neither romanticized nor glamorized.  She does not try to turn hapless victims, but she does feed on them.  The tumor, lodged in her brain was killing her prior to herself being turned, is still a apart of her.  The longer Magda goes without feeding, the larger the tumor grows, eating away at the healthy tissue as well as her memories, leaving her but a shell of who she once was and only knowing the need to feed.  Ah, even the way she feeds is a thing of horrific beauty.  Rather than biting her victims, tentacle-like appendages, snake out of her, latching on much like a leech would, and draining her helpless prey.  When their hunger consumes them, Magda goes out in search of prey, though from time to time, the hapless wander into Welcome.  The hunt is made difficult for Magda, for she is seen as prey because she is a child of the Roma gypsies and there is an open season on those of her race.

In Episode #9 entitled Hunger Pangs, Magda’s hunger sends her out to hunt, against Welcome’s better judgement.  He urges her to wait, since the Gestapo was out in force, searching for her last victim.  She fears the tumor consuming all that she is, and the urgency of her hunger makes her reckless, as Welcome’s pleas go unheeded.  Finding prey was eluding her, her desperation was making her careless, and she mistook a stranger’s offer to bring her to get food as a kindness, but his intentions was not so altruistic, since he brought her directly to the Gestapo, in hopes of the promised reward Kunst offered for any Roma gypsy child.

I cannot state enough how much Madefire’s motion comic platform is the perfect medium for this title.  The whole experience gets under your skin.  I have to admit, when Magda’s feeding tendrils jutted out of her, I cringed away from my screen.  Just a word of advice, if you’re planning on picking up a new horror story, make it this one, but do yourself a favor and read it with the lights on.

Next episode: Monsters – Who will turn out to be the most evil creature preying on Berlin, Kunst or Magda? 

Top Five: Graphic Novels (Holiday edition)

Hey guys, I’m Rob Base. Back here again with another top five gifts for your respected holiday of choice.

With this being the Christmas season I wanted to present the best gifts for the significant other in your life (be it a lover, friend or family member).

But, before I rattle off my list, let me quickly explain the difference in what is a graphic novel and just a collected comic book.

All books, be it a “Graphic Novel” or a standard “Comic,” are, in their core, all the same. But, what makes a Comic book a Graphic novel (to me) is its format of publishing, duration and content.

As much as we love the Walking Dead, it is NOT a Graphic Novel. Sure, it has the adult content, but it’s a continued series with less then 24 active pages in each issue.

The Dark Knight Returns, even though it was published in four issues, the format of book, its short run, and adult themes make it a true Graphic Novel.

So, that is the rules. Now let us begin.

Number 5: Art Spiegelman’s Maus. This Graphic Novel has become a part of American pop culture and history. It also has become mandatory reading in high schools.

The story is centered around Spiegelman’s father, who talks about his survival during the holocaust and an amazing subplot about his personal relationship with his father. The characters are represented as Mice for Jewish, Cats for Germans and Dogs for Americans.

It’s been collected into a graphic collection and, for most fans, this was their only way to read it.

Number 4: Stray Toasters by Bill Sienkiewicz The story revolves around criminal psychologist, Egon Rustemagik, and his investigation of a serial killer that seems to be targeting women.

This book was years ahead of its time and has become a comic book to own.
Not only that, but this comic to me was the first true graphic novel. Bill’s unique art style and masterful storytelling makes this book something that all readers should enjoy.

Number 3: Road to Perdition by Max Allan Collins and art by Richard Piers Rayner, published by DC Comics’ Imprint, Paradox Press.

This was adapted into the 2002 film of the same name, starring Tom Hanks, for which Collins also wrote the novelization.

Michael O’Sullivan, the ruthless but honorable enforcer for a crime syndicate, is personally betrayed by his masters and is forced to flee with his young son, Michael, Jr., on a quest for revenge. The story is set in the American Midwest during the Great Depression and draws upon several historical figures, especially the gangster John Patrick Looney, in real life, Looney came into conflict with Dan Drost, a formerly loyal lieutenant in their crime organization, and their feud eventually led to the death of Looney’s son Connor.

This story is loosely based on the famed manga series Lone Wolf and Cub.

Number 2: Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo and Satoshi Kon (uncredited)

On December 6, 1982, an apparent nuclear explosion destroys Tokyo and starts World War III. By 2019, a new city called Neo-Tokyo has been built on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay, but is gripped by anti-government terrorism and gang violence. While riding in the ruins of old Tokyo, Tetsuo, a member of the bōsōzoku gang led by Kaneda, is injured when his bike explodes after Takashi—a child Esper with wizened features—blocks his path. This incident awakens psychic powers in Tetsuo, attracting the attention of a secret government project directed by the Colonel. These increasing powers unhinge Tetsuo’s mind, exacerbating his inferiority complex about Kaneda and leading him to assume leadership of the rival Clown gang.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Akira is just an amazing manga series,
It broke the mold for what can be possible on paper.  With 6 collected volumes, this is probably one of the best collections to get for Christmas.

Number 1: The Dark Knight Returns (as if we didn’t see this one coming). Frank Miller’s monumental effort in rebranding the story and status of DC’s second flagship character.

The Dark Knight Returns is set in a dystopian near-future version of Gotham City. Bruce Wayne is 55 years old and has retired as Batman while the levels of crime rising. Wayne, finding his retirement difficult, becomes Batman again. 

Links to all these amazing titles are listed.

Let us know what you think.
Follow me on Twitter @AltMindz

Review: Dr Who the Eleventh Doctor issue #5


dr who

Written by: Al Ewing
Art by: Boo Cook
Published by: Titan Comics

Review by: Mike Lacey

Issue number five of Titan Comic’s Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor series is the conclusion of a two issue story. The Doctor and his companion for this series Alice Obiefune, along with Jones, the newest member of the TARDIS crew, find themselves aboard a United System Research Base, facing the ARC experiment which has been claiming victims one by one, leaving them in a comatose state.

This issue pushes along the development of our characters quite nicely. Alice is quickly becoming a self reliant companion. She can definitely hold her own as she takes charge in the Doctor’s absence, taking charge as she manages to get herself and Jones out of a particularly sticky situation. The Doctor once again encounters August Hart, Chief Security Officer for SERVEYOUinc., even though it is only his first meeting with the Doctor from his perspective(Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey stuff). As well as the mysterious SERVEYOUinc. being further revealed as the main villain of this series thus far.

And just like an episode of Doctor Who, not everything is as it seems. This two part story was very reminiscent of the series five episode The Beast Below, which goes to illustrate just how similar in tone this series is in relation to the television show. Both of the writers for this series so far, Rob Williams and Al Ewing have an extremely good handle on the voice of the Eleventh Doctor. The stories that both Williams and Ewing have delivered in these first five issues very well could have fit right into Matt Smith’s run as the Doctor. Which is a testament to the book and bodes well for the future of this series from Titan Comics that I am very much looking forward to.

Score 8.0 out of 10

Review: Madefire’s Houses of the Holy # 8

By A Kirana

I had the pleasure of meeting Ben Abernathy, Editorial Director of Madefire, when I had the opportunity to interview him during the 2014 NYCC.  He introduced us to Madefire’s approach to motion comics, and I was excited to peruse some of their titles.

My first experience with their motion comic, is the beautifully dark, Houses of the Holy #8, written by Mike Carey and drawn by Dave Kendall, and it did not disappoint.  Entitled A Private View and set in 1936, Berlin, we are reminded that monsters, at times, wear a human face.  The monster I refer to is Gottlieb Kunst head of the Nazi party’s Ministry of Propaganda or as he refers to it ‘Public Enlightenment’.  He creates short ‘documentary’ films, using the children of the Roma gypsies who have been rounded up for sterilization.  He films the children in his studio, showing them smiling and laughing while at play, to appease the public, assuring them of the ethical treatment of the Gypsies.  His disdain towards those he perceives as the lesser race is evident when speaking about his ‘work’ to Alfred Hugenberg, whom, upon running into him at a Nazi party event, invited him to see his work.  His ‘masterpiece’ which he willingly shares with Alfred, more to feed his narcissistic nature, is far more nefarious than the films he releases to the public.

Houses of the Holy should be a must read for those who enjoy tales of the macabre.  Every part of the comic, from the music playing eerily in the background to the slight action movements within certain panels, immerses the reader into the story; even the word bubbles that pop up help to give it a more conversational feel.  The rich tapestry of the tale, woven so eloquently is able to convey the horrors of the time without turning the characters into clichéd caricatures.  Being that this was my first experience with Madefire’s motion comic, I was not familiar with the title and was unsure whether I would be able to follow the story, since I was starting with Episode 8.  Instead, what I have read and experienced is more than enough to pique my interest to play catch up with the title as I wait, impatiently, for the next episode.

Issue #4 – Doctor who comic talk

Welcome back to another set of comic reviews! This time I talk about the newly released Doctor Who comics released by Titan comics. I talk about the tenth and eleventh doctors issue and also why I chose Doctor Who! There is spoilers in the video as I talk about the issues of course 🙂

Thanks to everyone who has been watching these and commenting on them! If you’d like to hear me talk about comics more, head over to Ryan’s podcast and here’s a link to the  positively nerdy place –http://positivelynerdy.com/?p=2853

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Watch “Issue #3 – July pickups” on YouTube

Issue #3 – July pickups: http://youtu.be/Py_rH02Aoi8

Payday has rolled around so I decided to go into town and pick up some comics!  I show you what I picked up and tell a little bit about why I picked these issues up! What are you reading at the moment or what do you recommend I give a go reviewing? Let me know in the comments below!

 Check out Chris’ great review on John Carpenter’s Halloween here – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rC8YZ-wCBHY

 Chris also does his first Blu-ray steelbook opening as well – http://youtu.be/wmhnEIRG4Q0

 Simon talks about the Amazing Spiderman 2 here so find out his thoughts –  http://youtu.be/Crp-qN9ylJI

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