My first article at a PROPER website !!

The fine lads at the Geek Syndicate website do an amazing geek podcast which I have listened to now for about 6 years. I urge you to have a listen, as it is always informative and plain hilarious !!

They are such fine lads, they have even allowed your humble Evangelist here to contribute to their incredible website. So, it is with much excitement I give you my first article for a proper geek website !!!

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DW Live! Factions!


This is an amazing idea I recommend everyone gets into !!

Originally posted on Dissecting Worlds:

We’ve a lot of great suggestions for Factions, who we hope will really be the main drivers of activity on our new Colony World. We’re starting to firm up the rules for how they will interact, using, as base, the Fate system, because it’s quick, easy, and gives us some interesting options. If you’re not a rules person – do not fear! – interesting worldbuilding trumps all, and these exist to give us a framework for conflict and resolution, not an overriding law for it.

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On the fourth day of Christmas, it’s super spy Dick Grayson !

Grayson #4 was brought to us by Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin, the number 4 and the letters F, U & N !


Fun. That’s what immediately springs to mind when I think about Dick Grayson.  Whether it is his throwing puns in battle whilst wearing a brightly coloured costume as the original Boy Wonder, his ability to inspire with equal parts grit and wit as the leader of the Teen Titans or performing amazing gymnastics on a moving train whilst dispensing wisdom to Tim Drake, Dick has always been the character that I would most want to be in the DC Universe.  Sadly, this element of Dick’s character had fallen a little by the wayside in the New 52 iteration of Nightwing, and seemed to be lost forever after the harrowing events of the Trinity War.
Then Grayson #4 was released, and all the fun came rushing back into the book like a lemonade waterfall ! (I know, I am not sure what that means either !).  In Grayson #4 Dick discovers he is a sex symbol for the students of the St Hadrian’s Finishing School for Girls and decides to play a game of follow the leader with them. This issue is full of panels like this one featuring a smiling Grayson flipping, rolling and jumping around roofs and treetops, as he leads the merry chase.

Grayson #4 009

While the other issues of the series have established Dick as a credible super spy as he infiltrates the mysterious SPYRAL and takes on suitably espionage genre missions, this one focuses on just what makes Dick Grayson tick and proves that regardless of the situation Dick finds himself in, there is one constant: his sense of fun.

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DHP 1 cover

On the third day of Christmas, my true love of comics was set free with the DHP #1 anthology !

This was probably my favourite single issue of the year !  My favourite artists had new stories featuring characters I love !  Another favourite artist had a brand new story full of the psychedelic stylings for which he is known and loved !  Other writers I like had cool stories ! And to top it all off, an artist I had not heard of previously gave me a story which was fun, funny and had innovative layouts ! What more could a comic book evangelist asked for ???
Here are the stories contained in the best single issue of any comic this year:
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot by Geoff Darrow !  I bought the oversized two issue series way back in the day, and have loved these characters ever since. Once again Geoff Darrow brings us insanely detailed backgrounds, a dash of 1950s sci-fi sensibilities and a soupçon of humour.   A most welcome return from these two characters and their co-creator !!


Speaking of great characters and creators, Kabuki and David Mack are respectively my favourite character of all time and my favourite artist/writer of all time (a position he holds in a three-way tie with Dave Gibbons and Alan Davis). So of course I was salivating in joy before I even made it to the page featuring the first Kabuki story in about ten years ! My joy only grew as I read the story, and by the end I was already figuring out just where I had stored all my old Kabuki comics so I could read them all again for the 157th time ! This story was pure perfection.


Another story I eagerly awaited was the new offering The Dream Gang from British superstar Brendan McCarthy. I was first exposed to his work in the Revolver serial Rogan Gosh, and have marvelled at his blend of surrealism and colour for years since. The Dream Gang had everything I expected from Brendan and more: ordinary characters interacting with the extraordinary, anthropomorphised ideas, a non-traditional superhero, and plenty of surrealist weirdness. This is a candy coloured extravaganza of ideas which warranted a second, third and fourth read through !

The writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray once again proved their ability to tell a great story in any genre in their story Wrestling With Demons, in which a father must literally fight demons in an arena in order to free his daughter from the evil clutches of an evil clutcher.
The final story was a delightful surprise ! Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley’s Sabertooth Swordsman was not a title I was aware of,  and after reading this amazing silent story featuring the titular hero fighting his way through a number of enemies I have been on a hunt for more from this team. Luckily for me, there are plenty !! It was this page which sold me – I love the pseudo-Egyptian “Pacman” ghosts chasing our hero !

Sabertooth Swordsman
This is an incredible comic, and if, as they say, you but only one comic this year, make it this one !!


Second comic for Christmas – The “Good Times” Sloth ?!

In celebration of the season, the Comic Book Evangelist presents over the “Twelve Days of Christmas” his favourite single issues of the year 2014. These are comics that have not made my top ten titles list, but have released issues during the year that have blown me away, had me roaring with laughter or quietly crying with emotion.

On this, the second day of Christmas, I present the friendly-looking sloth so beloved by the characters in Memetic #1 !

Memetic #1, written by the star-has-indeed-risen James Tynion IV and with art by Erik Donovan was released in October, and so is a relatively late addition to the list of issues I have simply loved this year. The story is pretty simple: The “Good Times Sloth” meme takes the world by storm. Those who see it feel a bliss that leaves them extremely happy (and extremely eager to share the meme with their social network). For a few hours. Then the viewers’ eyes start to bleed and they become ultra-violent.

Our window into the escalating horror is Marcus, a teenager who sees the meme and is unaffected, probably due to his colour blindness. He is nonplussed at the obsession the meme creates in his peers, and concerned that he is unable to make contact with his boyfriend.

The image of the Good Times Sloth reminded me immediately of Futurama’s Hypo-toad and the psychedelia of 1960s posters. It IS an image that draws the eye, and the fact my eyes were continually drawn to it whilst reading a panel added a verisimilitude to the story – if I couldn’t stop being drawn to it of course the characters in the story would have the same problem.

This is a clever horror story which builds tension well, and gives a protagonist who is vulnerable emotionally – his isolation had me immediately feeling for him.

This is the first issue of a three part limited series, and sets up the story so well I was eager to read the second and third issues. I recommend Memetic #1, but be careful: if your eyes start to itch you may want to put the book down…..

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The Fantastic Four Explain What Superheroes Do For Cash


Another interesting post examining the minutiae behind the stories !

Originally posted on THE EXTREMIS REVIEW:

Journey Into Marvel – Part 58

Fantastic_Four_Vol_1_9Extremites, if you’re like me, and I assume you are because you follow this blog — and if you don’t follow it you should — you have found yourself sitting reading a comic wondering two things: one, ‘where do these superheroes find all this spandex’ and two, ‘how do these folks afford all of this?’ It must be expensive to keep up a multitude of gadgets. Insurance payments on crazy building collapsing battles must be through the roof.

Some characters are billionaires. Batman has endless cash to fund the latest mobile or new grapple hooks. Tony Stark is the heir to a massive military supply shop.

What about the ‘average joes?’

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On the first day of Christmas……VAL ZOD !!

In celebration of the season, the Comic Book Evangelist presents over the “Twelve Days of Christmas” his favourite single issues of the year 2014. These are comics that have not made my top ten titles list, but have released issues during the year that have blown me away, had me roaring with laughter or quietly crying with emotion.

Kicking off with the First Day of Christmas, we have the “partridge in a pear tree” which was Earth 2 #26. This book was released in August and was the best birthday present DC could possibly give me !
Earth 2 #26 was the culmination of all the plot points Tom Taylor had been setting up since he took over the title in November 2013 with #17 – the cryptic clues of Dr Fate (okay, they are mostly rambling clues, but they were cryptic nonetheless) , the mystery of evil Superman, the new Superman Val Zod taking centre stage and just how the rag-tag group of heroes and decimated World Army would defeat the renewed Apokoliptian invasion . It was one hell of a culmination !! With the always amazing Nicola Scott on art duties, the issue had so many jaw-dropping moments I ended up in accident and emergency ! Here are the few I am willing to mention (I do not want to spoil the big reveal, as doing so will deny you the pure joy and wonderment felt when you get to the reveal in the issue):

Marella, the Aquawoman, defeats the Apokoliptian general Bedlam not with force but smarts. Marella can control water, and uses this ability to expand the water in Bedlam’s brain, basically giving her hydroencephalus and knocking her out. In doing so, Marella freed other heroes from Bedlam’s control and victory is thus ensured.

Alan Scott using his powers to HOLD THE EARTH in order to stop it from being sucked into a Boom Tube. This was a great image, reminiscent of the panel in Crisis of Infinite Earths in which the Spectre holds the Earths apart and the old Earth -One & Earth-Two crossovers in which he did the same thing !

Best of all, Val Zod – the new Superman – stepped up in the coolest way: he held to his pacifist beliefs even when taking a severe beating from the evil Superman (who of course characterised Val’s pacifism as weakness), and won the fight without throwing a punch ! This is the coolest thing I have seen in comics for a long time. Usually pacifist characters “realise” that violence IS the answer and take down the villain with a well-aimed punch, sword thrust or bullet. By having Val Zod continually try to appeal to Superman’s better nature whilst defending himself and others (by the way, there is nothing contradictory in a pacifist defending themselves in a non-violent way) he not only won the fight but won the battle by proving that you do not have to fight fire with fire !

Val Zod became, in the space of three issues, my favourite character of the year and one of the all-time favourite characters ! Thank you Tom and Nicola !!