Author Archive for Benjamin Bailey

Graphic Novel Review: Miracleman, Book 1

Alan Moore's run on Miracleman is a thing of legend. Legal mumbo jumbo and various lawsuits kept it out of the hands of comic fans for years. We had heard about it endlessly, how important is was to the medium and how it redefined superheroes. It was the series that changed everything and yet almost none of us had read it. Until now. Marvel Comics is finally publishing the series – although they are currently doing it in single issues, which is makes the wait that much longer – and the first volume is now here, in our hands. Even after all the buildup, the years of anticipation, Miracleman is pretty freaking great.

Perhaps the creative team's greatest achievement on Miracleman is how fresh it still feels, 30 years after the fact. When compared to other superhero books of the time – the early 1980s, specifically – Miracleman is leaps and bounds above the pack. Sure, it's still compressed, cramming insane amounts of dialogue and narrative into panels, but it lacks that heavy exposition and clunky structure that often filled comics of the time. It's easy to see why Miracleman was such a game-changer, because it looks and reads so much like the comics that currently populate our shelves.

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Andre the Giant: Life and Legend Graphic Novel Review

Andre the Giant was more than a wrestler. He was larger than life character, a figure that even those who have never watched a wrestling match in their life know. He's an icon, a symbol. We all know his voice, stature and nickname; we know his famous matches and legendary role in the cinematic masterpiece The Princess Bride. What Andre the Giant: Life and Legend does is tell us the story of the man. It's a graphic novel about life, pain, struggle and acceptance. It's moving and captivating and something that you should read whether you are a fan of wrestling or not.

The story of Andre the Giant is a surprising one. Through a series of interviews, recorded events, and memoirs, Box Brown assembles the life of a mythical man. The story of a man's life unfolds much as you would expect, starting with his youth and working up to his untimely death. What we get here is heavily researched and painstakingly detailed. Few comic biographies feel so finely detailed. It draws such a clear picture that by the end you'll feel as if you knew this man. You'll understand his pain.

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Godzilla: Awakening Graphic Novel Review

If you are supremely excited for Legendary's new Godzilla film then Godzilla: Awakening is practically required reading. It sets the stage and tone for the movie, giving a glimpse into the myth and legend of Godzilla. It builds the world of the film and gives you a hint at what's to come. By the time you reach the final page, you'll wish your butt was firmly planted in a movie theater and the lights were dimming.

Godzilla: Awakening answers a lot of questions. We get the setup of movie world and the reveal that – spoiler here – Godzilla isn't entirely the bad guy. Fans of the King of Monsters already know that the big guy often serves as a defender of Earth, a bodyguard against the truly evil monsters out there. Godzilla isn't exactly interested in people and our civilization, but he has his sights set on the creatures bigger and badder than us.

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Silver Surfer #1 Review

The Silver Surfer is a character who is used for deep, philosophical introspection. The loneliness of space, the infinite of the cosmos, the Surfer rode them while pondering things like life, death and infinity. For this new series, Marvel has gone a drastically different direction and, even for fans of the previous runs, it's a resounding success. The focus this time is on adventure and fun; a heady trip though space and time that is big, colorful and just a little bit silly. Silver Surfer #1 is just a good time, through and through.

Dan Slott and Michael Allred are steering this ship, and they do so with ease. The Silver Surfer story feels light, almost weightless. It's cruises through these pages with a careless swagger that you have to respect. It's just a fun romp that features bizarre aliens and huge, city-covered planets. Silver Surfer is journeying through space, trying to do good deeds in order to make up for all the bad ones he did while in the service of Galactus. The story also involves a young lady from Earth who, thanks to a childhood wish, appears to be closely tied to the Surfer and his fate. It's easy and breezy from start to finish. Slott openly compared it to Doctor Who, but with the art and whimsical nature of the storytelling, Doctor Seuss might be a better comparison.

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Why is Hellboy Cool?

March 2014 marks 20 years of Hellboy comics. For a non-Marvel/DC book, that is no small feat. For a book about a wise-cracking demon from Hell and his friends, it's downright amazing. The enormity of this accomplishment becomes overwhelming when you take in account the fact that Hellboy has spawned a whole universe of comics, with titles like BPRD, Lobster Johnson and Abe Sapien all being published regularly. Add in two feature films, some animated movies, a video game and toys, and you begin to to understand that Hellboy is truly a pop culture icon.


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5 Graphic Novels You Can’t Miss

Every month, a slew of new graphic novels and trade collections hit the shelves and it can be hard to know which ones are worth your time and hard-earned bucks. That's why, we here at IGN, decided to selflessly comb through the stacks and piles of books to find the true gems, the books that need to be read.

Here they are, our picks for February's Best Graphic Novels!


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Moon Knight #1 Review

When you think of A-List Marvel characters, Moon Knight probably doesn't come to mind. In fact, he probably doesn't enter into thought until you hit C-List, if we are being generous. That said, there is something special about the character. Many of us, myself included, have had a thing for the Marc Spector ever since Stephen Platt turned him into a “must read” in the '90s. In fact, many high profile creators have done some stellar work on the character in the past. Moon Knight's books have almost always been good, often they're great, but this new relaunch is on a whole other level. This is more than a re-imaging, it's a brilliant introduction to a character more folks need to be acquainted with. Whether you are a longtime fan or brand new to the character, this is a comic you absolutely must read.

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New Warriors #1 Review

Bringing back together a group of heroes under the New Warriors banner is no small task. After all, these are the kids who basically set off Civil War. To say their reputation has been tarnished is probably understating. This first issue from writer Christopher Yost and artist Marcus To does address that problem, but we are never given a compelling reason for this book to exist. There's a ton going on here, but nothing holding the story together, just a jumble of scenes featuring D-list characters and Nova. Even the awesomeness of Nova can't carry this book, though. It needs something more. As far as first issues go, there's not much to it. New Warriors doesn't give you much of a reason to come back for more.

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She-Hulk #1 Review

This is not a superhero book. Not even a little bit. It's more Hawkeye than Hulk, following the stories of Jennifer Walters's law career – or lack of career, as the book starts – and what she does when she's not an Avenger or member of the FF. In other words, this is a comic that could have gone really bad really fast. In the wrong hands, this thing could have been a boring, bizarre mess. Fortunately, due to the very capable Charles Soule and Javier Pulido, that is not the case. In fact, She-Hulk #1 is absolutely fantastic. It's the She-Hulk comic we never knew we needed.

The focus of this issue is Jennifer Walters setting up her own law practice. Any action, such as a fight between giant robots, happens off panel. By moving the more obvious aspects of the book off the page, it allows She-Hulk to tell a different kind – and more possibly more engaging – story. The success of comics like Hawkeye allowed this thing to exist, and we should be thankful for that. As long as comics like this continue to be this good, we should welcome them. Hell, we should celebrate them.

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Why You Should Be Reading Valiant Comics

Ever since Valiant Comics was rebooted in 2012, they have astounded fans and critics alike with their small but strong line of books. They recruited top talent from the industry to usher in a modern age of Valiant stories. Their signature character X-O Manowar led the charge, paving the way for the likes of Harbinger, Eternal Warrior and more. It can't be denied that the publisher has played their hand carefully and smartly, sticking to a select few titles and putting all of their resources into making them as entertaining and engrossing as possible.

If you haven't jumped on the Valiant bandwagon yet, now is the time. What's best about their books is that there's something for everyone. That's why we wrote up a list to tell you which Valiant comic is for you.

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