Tuesday 8 June 2010

Book Reviews

Indiana Jones - The Further Adventures: Omnibus Volume Three
Bret Blevins, Steve Ditko, Linda Grant, David Micheline, Ricardo Villamonte
Dark Horse Comics

Available Now - £19.99 (Trade Paperback)
Review by Brad Harmer

The globetrotting hero born of George Lucas' love for high-adventure 1930s fiction is back again.

Irreverent archaeologist Dr. Henry 'Indiana' Jones scours the furthest corners of the planet for priceless artifacts, hungry for knowledge about ancient civilizations and in a constant race to beat grave-robbing thieves to the goods. Though his quick wit, resourcefulness, and dashing good looks have gotten him this far, what happens when his Nazi foes attempt to wake the dead through sorcery?

For those who fondly remember Marvel’s line of Indiana Jones comics from the early- to mid-eighties, this will be a bargain price stroll down memory lane. It’s a chunky book for your money, and the greatest thing about Dark Horse’s Omnibus line is that it brings together comics that are generally unlikely to otherwise be issued in trade paperback. They’re a fun bunch of pulpy kid’s adventures, featuring a bunch of original stories and the full adaptation of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Unfortunately, if you don’t already think you want this, it’s not really going to win you over. The artwork is pretty shoddy for the most part (yes, even the contributions from Steve Ditko and Brett Blevins), frequently lacking any sense of motion. The dialogue often feels stilted, and Dr. Jones certainly doesn’t talk like Dr. Jones does!

The adaptation of ...The Last Crusade is, unfortunately, rather a lazy one, and really only worth anything as a curiosity item. Again, it’s probably worth a gander if you have fond memories, but newcomers will see this as nothing more than a crappy money spinner.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Some scuffling, explosions and shooting.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: None.
Summary: A fun compilation, but one for Indy completists only. There’s nothing here to elevate it much above “average”, and the adaptation of ...The Last Crusade is crappy. 6/10

Sláine: Demon Killer
Glenn Fabry, Pat Mills, Dermot Power, Greg Staples

Available Now - £14.99 (Trade Paperback)
Review by Blake Harmer

If Sláine MacRoth was to be summed up in a word, it would be "awesome". He is an action hero that doesn’t muck about when it comes to facing his enemies, and simply cuts them into bread with his axe, Brainbiter, and he loves it. However, when he can’t enjoy himself murdering hundreds and thousands of people that oppose his Tribe and the Earth Goddess he worships, then he enjoys the other simple things in life, such as beating people up and making love to many women.

In this collection of stories, Sláine is summoned by the Earth Goddess to travel through time and defend the Britons from the Romans at the side of Queen Boudicca. However, the Romans have enlisted the aid of Sláine’s arch enemy Elfric the demon to conquer Briton.

As mentioned earlier, Sláine is awesome and a high contender for a character that is pure Emotionally Fourteen. If you don’t enjoy Sláine’s no nonsense way of carving up Romans, then you’ll love his friend Ukko, providing comic relief as he tries to do anything for treasure or women. Sure some of Sláine’s decisions may be unethical, but who cares as it leads to more Romans and Demons being cut into pieces.

At the end of the day Sláine is fun. Sure the plot is not as dark and intricate as other 2000AD strips such as Judge Dredd or Nemesis the Warlock, but if you're looking for action with lots of gore and cold murder in it, then this is the comic book for you.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
This collection is filled to the brim with death and destruction, with lots of limbs hacked off and blood everywhere...just as we like it.
Sex/Nudity: Some boobs are seen but no real sex scenes are shown.
Swearing: None. The jokes are straight and to the point and do not require the use of swearing, as does the action pieces.
Summary: A good collection of stories filled to the brim with laughs and ultra-violence, which is what makes Sláine great. Fans of Pat Mills and 2000AD will enjoy this collection and anyone else into comics should definitely give this one a look. 8/10

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