Review: Orphan Black #1

Posted by Abigail Brady at 11:28 on 27 Feb 2015
Orphan Black #1
Orphan Black is a show that surprised me. The pitch - Sarah Manning, a 20something punk slash con artist, finds that she is one of an unknown number of clones and they team up and investigate the mysteries behind their creation - was unappealing, as it sounded like a kind of generic biomedical thriller. And while that remains the ostensible plot, the real interest comes in its fantastic character studies of the multiple clones played by Tatiana Maslany, which examine different ways people - and specifically women - can exist in the early 21st century.

Cinematic Universe Episode 3: Iron Man (2008)

Posted by Seb Patrick at 11:45 on 18 Feb 2015
Cinematic Universe Episode 3: Iron Man (2008)
The Cinematic Universe podcast lands on the MCU for the first time, with the groundbreaking 2008 film Iron Man. Seb and James of this here parish join movie buff Joe Cunningham to discuss the film and also recommend some background reading from the comics.

Review: The Sculptor

Posted by Graham Kibble-White at 12:34 on 17 Feb 2015
The Sculptor
The flat I live in is the smallest place I've ever lived. It's because 10 years ago I moved to London. To claw back space I had to get rid of – literally – thousands of DVDs (I now own two) and hundreds of books. I remember subsequently going through my Amazon history and realising everything from 2002 to 2005 was now in a charity shop.

My bookshelves remain at capacity, which means every time I make a new purchase I have to run this equation: Am I willing to either remove an item to make room for it, or pass this one along when I'm done?

I've just finished reading The Sculptor by Scott McCloud and I've already secured it a new home. For me, it's not a keeper.

Comixology Sale Picks: Superman Essential Graphic Novels

Posted by Seb Patrick at 13:27 on 11 Feb 2015
Comixology Sale Picks: Superman Essential Graphic Novels
It's been a little while since we've had a nice one of these that we can properly get our teeth into, but as you might expect, a Superman Essential Graphic Novels sale is right in our particular wheel arch. So read on to see which of Grant Morrison, Jeph Loeb and J. Michael Straczynski have written books we think you should buy OH I WONDER WHICH ONES HAVEN'T.

The Avengers react to Spider-Man joining the MCU

Posted by Seb Patrick at 11:13 on 10 Feb 2015
The Avengers react to Spider-Man joining the MCU
Tony just really, really wants someone he can build that Iron Spider costume for.

DC's Divergence mini-relaunch: a run-down

Posted by Seb Patrick at 22:09 on 07 Feb 2015
DC's Divergence mini-relaunch: a run-down
So, you can't have missed the news that DC are overhauling their publishing line in June, following the upcoming crossover event Convergence. While Marvel are busy planning what looks like an almost-full-scale universe reboot (in the manner of DC's New 52 relaunch back in 2011), DC are almost going the opposite way, with something that seems more akin to Marvel's "All New Marvel NOW!" of a few years back.

In the process, the "New 52" branding is finally being dropped (although the continuity itself will remain in place - albeit with, if word is to be believed, a slightly looser approach to a rigid universe-wide continuity) in favour of the new "Divergence" brand - but the most notable aspect is that a range of new titles are being launched, some spotlighting characters that have yet to have their due since the relaunch, and several with exciting (and, crucially, demographically diverse) creative teams. Oh, and a Hitman spinoff.

While it's nothing like as big a shake-up as the 2011 one was, it's nevertheless the most significant since then - so we thought we'd take a look at the list of new and updated titles, to see what we think of their prospects...

Cinematic Universe Episode 2: Batman (1989)

Posted by Seb Patrick at 22:16 on 04 Feb 2015
Cinematic Universe Episode 2: Batman (1989)
Our new fortnightly podcast, in which PanelBeats editors James and Seb discuss comic book movies with Film4's Joe Cunningham, reaches its landmark second episode!

Fifteen year plan to introduce Miles Morales to the Marvel Universe finally reaches conclusion

Posted by Seb Patrick at 20:51 on 28 Jan 2015
Fifteen year plan to introduce Miles Morales to the Marvel Universe finally reaches conclusion
So "Ultimatum" wasn't the end. And "Cataclysm" wasn't the end either. Turns out they were waiting for something even more literal: "The End" will be the end.

To be honest, if anything killed the Ultimate universe - aside from a lot of really, really bad comics by people who weren't Brian Michael Bendis - it was the movies. The MCU Avengers have made the Ultimates look as dated as they once made the original Avengers look. It's hard to say any of them will be missed, now. Especially Ultimate Cap. We hate that guy.

But if you're asking, we'd like to keep Gwen Stacy and Jessica Drew, in addition to Miles. And maybe Ganke, at a push.


Cinematic Universe Episode 1: Daredevil (2003)

Posted by Seb Patrick at 13:04 on 21 Jan 2015
Cinematic Universe Episode 1: Daredevil (2003)
There may be as many as four Panel Beats readers who've been wondering what's happened to our podcasting arm since we last put out an episode of the Alternate Cover pod in (checks) cor, blimey, May of last year. Well, various circumstances conspired to mean that we had to put having regular recorded chats about comics on the back burner: and then an entirely new burner came along and offered us the opportunity to talk about movies instead, so that's what we did. This, then, is Cinematic Universe.

Phonomancy (or: Why Phonogram Matters) Part 1: Is It Something I Do To Myself

Posted by Seb Patrick at 11:13 on 19 Jan 2015
Phonomancy (or: Why Phonogram Matters) Part 1: Is It Something I Do To Myself
"I believe that the best way to show how music affects the world is to take evidence directly from life to show how music has changed me and people around me. Not that it's a particularly truthful form of biography. There's a key line in the second issue: 'Sometimes the truth just gets in the way of what really happens.' That's absolutely key. The phrase I'm using is Automythology." - Kieron Gillen