Archive for: ‘August 2007’

METAL HURLANT # 2 & 3

August 10, 2007 Posted by admin

TITLE: METAL HURLANT # 2 & 3

REVIEW DATE: 05/01/03

REVIEWER: STEVEN MAXWELL

WRITERS: JIM ALEXANDER, ALEXANDRO JODOROWSKY, GEOFF JOHNS, PIERRE WAZEM

ARTISTS: PASCAL ALIXE, IGOR BARANKO, FRED BELTRAN, CHRISTIAN GOSSETT & SNAKEBITE, PIERRE WAZEM, J.H. WILLIAMS III

REVIEW:
metal1If your view of adult European comics is one of dodgy ‘erotica’ from aging Italians and tacky, airbrushed Heavy Metal covers, then the revival of Metal Hurlant from the Swiss-based company Humanoids Publishing, may go some way towards changing your mind.
Originally conceived by Moebius, Philippe Druillet and Jean-Pierre Dionnet in the late 1970s as a showcase for cutting-edge, European science fiction comics, Metal Hurlant (literally ‘Screaming Metal’ in French) spawned Heavy Metal itself. But, as Dionnet explains in issue #3:”Heavy Metal magazine quickly (and to my profound horror) plummeted towards falsely poetic and truly cheesy paintings of flying horses and sterile images of bimbos with perfect hairdos.”

For the relaunched title, the Metal Hurlant team rely heavily on the work of long-time Moebius collaborator Alexandro Jodorowsky. Short stories from the Chilean author, and occasional filmmaker, are included in both issues, along with a serialised graphic novel, Megalex, with Fred Beltran. The story – a nature vs. technology parable – is fairly typical of Jodorowsky’s work, where he attempts to blend mysticism and science fiction with touches of humour.
Fred Beltran’s airbrushed artwork, which illustrates the strange events on the city planet of Megalex, is slick but strangely reminiscent of the Heavy Metal imagery so disliked by Dionnet.
Elsewhere, the fantastic J.H. Williams III, of Promethea fame, and the Bilal-like Igor Baranko, tackle Jodorowsky short stories with varying degrees of success. Williams’ illustrations of a Jodorowsky vampire spoof fare rather better than the story, which surely must have lost something in translation, and add a real touch of class to the anthology.

Of the low points in this otherwise excellent collection, there is a Judge Dredd rip-off called Monster Police Department, where the Mega City-style cops hunt down – you’ve guessed it – monsters, and an impenetrable dose of existential angst from Swiss contributor Pierre Wazem, which resembles a self-analytical Tintin story.
Despite this, Metal Hurlant is a brave attempt to bring some quality control back to European comics and if the editorial standard remains sufficiently high, it could well help to show English-speaking readers that there is more to adult European comics than the corny erotic nonsense of its American namesake.

BULLETPROOF RATING: 8/10

JSA

August 5, 2007 Posted by admin

TITLE: JSA

REVIEW DATE: 27/01/02

REVIEWER: MATT YEO

ISSUE: 32
WRITERS: DAVID GOYER & GEOFF JOHNS

ARTIST: PETER SNEJBJERG

REVIEW:
jsa32-coverThis issue sees the JSA enjoying some quality downtime before kicking off their next multi-part epic,’Stealing Thunder’. Back on board is much-missed
co-writer, Geoff Johns, who’s been busy penning his latest big screen adventure, Blade II.
I’ve been enjoying JSA since its successful relaunch over two years ago and the title’s unique appeal, characterisations and pacing continue to impress me. Although the action takes a backseat this month, there are still plenty of choice moments and juicy plotlines being set up for future stories.
Unlike other team books, the JSA has always felt like more of a family to me and there’s certainly plenty of group-bonding this issue, from Black Canary’s critique of her comrades personalities and mournful farewell to a great dinner scene where everyone squabbles over who’s ordered the best food.
David Goyer and Geoff Johns are easily DC’s finest double act. The month they keep the pace jogging along until the shocking conclusion and, as usual, you’re left wanting more but having to wait a full month until next issue. Fresh from a long run on Starman, Peter Snejbjerg provides fantastic guest art, with his unique use of shadows and breathtakingly simplistic work looking as stunning in full colour as I’m sure it would in black and white.
I’ve never been a particular fan of Jakeem (J.J.) Thunder and always felt that we were being given an updated, streetwise kid with a pet Thunderbolt just for the sake of it. However, although the apparent return of the original Johnny Thunder is merely a taster for what’s to come, I’m starting to feel that Jakeem could really come into his own over the next few months.
As Goyer and Johns have proved time and again in JSA, nothing is ever as it seems and I for one have a feeling J.J. Thunder will have an essential part to play in the forthcoming ‘Thunder’, storyline.
Another amazing issue and check out those final few pages for some truly frightening characterisation as well as the return of a much-demanded classic JSA villain!

BULLETPROOF RATING: 9/10