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News, Reviews, Features, Podcasts, & Buyer's Guides...

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.

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!

Best Comics of 2014: The Multiversity

Posted by Seb Patrick at 23:59 on 30 Dec 2014
Best Comics of 2014: The Multiversity
Around five years or so ago, the prospect of Grant Morrison writing a multiverse-spanning, self-referential exploration of DC's superhero lineage would have been pretty much the most exciting thing in comics. But as the time between The Multiversity's conception and its actual execution grew ever longer, the doubts began to creep in. The resetting of DC's entire continuity was the biggest elephant in the room: if The Multiversity was originally conceived pre-New 52, would it be compromised by eventually coming out after it?

But even aside from that, with what seemed to be Morrison's final definitive statement on the superhero comic, in his epoch-defining Batman run, finally at an end, and following the apparent inability of his Action Comics to stake out a claim for greatness in this new era, this supposed final hurrah began to feel like little more than an afterthought. Sure, it would be nice to see a bit of new Frank Quitely art, especially if he was drawing the Blue Beetle. But would The Multiversity really have anything new to say?

It turns out that yes, it did. And what it had to say was The Man Don't Give A Fuck.

Best Comics of 2014: Batgirl

Posted by Seb Patrick at 21:55 on 22 Dec 2014
Best Comics of 2014: Batgirl
As is our annual custom, we're using the last ten days of the year to count down our ten favourite (or otherwise most significant) comics of 2014, one per day. The first seven are in no particular order, followed by one runner-up from each of us, and then our unanimous Pick of the Year on December 31st. But we start in a slightly controversial place...

DC announce yet another pointless prequel TV show

Posted by Seb Patrick at 10:20 on 09 Dec 2014
DC announce yet another pointless prequel TV show
Well, if it can work for "Gotham" and "Krypton", this one's got to be a sure fire hit, right?

One Line Reviews Of Every Comic I Have Bought Since We Last Posted An Update

Posted by Seb Patrick at 10:04 on 09 Dec 2014
One Line Reviews Of Every Comic I Have Bought Since We Last Posted An Update
Hello. It may not have escaped your notice (or it might have completely escaped your notice) that things have been a bit quiet around here lately. We've had a few work and personal related commitments that have meant that we've fallen a bit behind in keeping up with posts. Sorry for the inconvenience, if it is indeed an inconvenience at all.

Regular service should be resuming shortly, and we also have some exciting plans on the podcast side of things to hopefully tell you about soon, but in the meantime, I thought I'd catch up with what's been going on in comics in the time that we haven't been posting. So here's a list of every comic I've bought (either on Comixology or in print) since our last new post, and a quick comment on what I thought of each them. I make no apology for the lack of intense scrutiny or in-depth analysis contained within, but at least in terms of sheer volume of comics it's decent value for money... right?

Comixology Sale Picks: Batman 750

Posted by Seb Patrick at 11:45 on 23 Jul 2014
Comixology Sale Picks: Batman 750
Update 26.11.14: The Batman 750 sale is back! So we're re-bumping our guide to it - it seems to be basically the same 750 comics as before, though we haven't had a chance to go through and check in detail to make absolutely certain. But if you missed it the first time, now's your chance...

Seven hundred and fifty Batman comics? Seven hundred and fifty? No way are we going to be able to give you a yes or no on every single item featured in Comixology's mammoth Batman anniversary sale, but if we go through and pick out a few choice things we think are worth looking at, it might help you actually navigate the sale without it taking the entire week that it lasts for...

Review: The Multiversity: The Just #1

Posted by Seb Patrick at 21:17 on 23 Oct 2014
The Multiversity: The Just #1
So it turns out that, in pretty much the most Grant Morrison thing that has ever happened, The Multiversity is basically a story about how characters on all of the different Earths in the DC multiverse can read comics about the goings-on on all of the other Earths in the DC multiverse, and one of these comics (the one that's about Earth Prime, of course), is a dangerous "haunted" or "cursed" comic that, as best as I can see, is the closest thing the series as a whole has to a unifying story macguffin.

And it further turns out that The Just, an issue that I have to admit I wasn't necessarily expecting to be much in the way of great shakes based on its cover and its solicit, is Morrison attempting to do something akin to The Kingdom (which is in itself ironic given that The Kingdom brought Morrison's once-abandoned "Hypertime" concept into official continuity for all of five minutes), only actually good. So it's a story of a world in which the Golden and Silver Age DC heroes age in real time, and so by the year 2014 have mostly (but not entirely) been replaced by their offspring and other successive generations. But rather than being made-up possible future heroes, they're all the legacy heroes from the '90s and beyond.

Or, to put it another way: The Multiversity: The Just is a Silver Age-style "imaginary story" featuring 1990s characters, filtered through a distinctly Morrisonian layer of metatextuality. With Damian Wayne in it.

I mean, if there's anything that I could better wave in people's faces and say "this is how I like my comics", I'd like to see it.

The 5 Best Things From NYCC 2014

Posted by Seb Patrick at 19:38 on 12 Oct 2014
The 5 Best Things From NYCC 2014
This weekend past saw the ninth annual New York Comic Con take place, not in San Diego as expected, but in the surprise venue of New York. One half of the main PanelBeats team (James) was there; so it makes perfect sense for the half that wasn't (me) to be the one to do a round-up of what happened. So in a completely unfocused and to be honest somewhat ill-informed manner, here are my five favourite things that were announced, or otherwise happened, at the convention.