Friday, 13 May 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Eastman,Waltz, Duncan (Comic Book Review)

I decided to give this comic book series a try as I was such a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show when I was a kid. Plus, the fact that a new TMNT video game is getting released in a few weeks also swayed me to pick up these comics. This is because one of the lead artists on the game also worked on the comic books. As the game looks amazing, I thought I’d love the comics too.

Artwork from game

Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. The art style in the video game was very bright and easy to look at and enjoy, whereas I found the comics to be almost monochrome, limited to blacks, greens and reds. It gives the art style of the comic a much more grown up feel, which it could be argued is the comic’s target audience as most of its reader would have grown up with the Turtles as kids (like me). However, I felt it was too harsh for me because the limited colour pallet didn’t distinguish each individual tile of artwork from one and other. This led me to mostly just read the text in the book and not look at the corresponding pictures because I enjoyed the story more than the artwork.

The story is the origin story of the Turtles and their master Splinter. Though some parts of the story were ridiculous; like Splinter (as a rat and not a mutant) defeating two Ninjas as they try and steal the Turtles, I still thought it was very original and more dynamic than the original origin stories from the TV show and numerous movies following it. The loss of Raphael was interesting and used well as it gave the writers a chance to introduce other key characters in the series, which I thought was an refreshing sub-plot and really enjoyed.

I won’t be continuing this series as I feel it’s not for me. However, if you are a TMNT fan I think you should give Vol 1 a try, as it is quite short and actually has an ending where you can walk away from the series feeling content.

To buy the comics click here.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Dead Eyes, N. H. Brown

Publishers: N. H. Brown

Pages: 40

Main Characters:

Mackay, Hayley Drasic, Donald Mathews-Vartini

Dead Eyes is a collection of three short sci-fi stories by author N. H. Brown. For fans of historical fiction, Nick also writes the amazing Agent of Rome series that I have reviewed here. The three stories are called: Dead Eyes, Four Numbers and Afflict. The stories are based on different characters whom seem to all co-exist in the same universe.

Dead Eyes tells the tale of Captain Mackay, a down on his luck Captain looking for his big break. Mackay and his crew are somewhat like bounty hunters but instead of hunting people, the crew look for rare resources on distant planets in the universe. Mackay finds his break on the planet of Chasseur-Malcom where a huge deposit of crude oil has been discovered. Mackay and his crew must race to the newly surveyed planet before his competitors can lay claim to the lucrative crude oil. However, what Mackay and the small crew of the Great White discover there is far more dangerous than their competitors.

Hayley Drasic is a soldier serving on Cygna 8, a small human colony on the far reaches of space. With a population of around 600, most people believed that the planet should have been abandoned when ruthlessly invaded by a mysterious alien race. However, orders are orders and the defence force fought valiantly against the ‘Sticks’(as the bionic aliens have become known). Nevertheless, the humans have been pushed back into a canyon and the future looks bleak for Hayley Drasic.

The final story is very short and I think the most intriguing. Donald Mathews-Vartini is met by a mysterious figure in his office. The strange looking man offers to take all of Earth’s most evil people and wrong doers and make them disappear. Though the offer seems too good to turn down, the stranger’s plan for the wrong doers are never revealed.  Could they come back to haunt Donald in the future?

I really enjoyed these short stories and it was very interesting to see Brown turn his hand to Sci-Fi. Each story teased me enough to want to know more about the characters and read more about them.

I also thought the stories were unique in their sci-fi setting because they weren’t too heavily focused on futuristic science. Different cultural identities still exist from Earth in Brown’s universe and their goals still feel human. What I mean by this is that Earth is still looking for oil on far off planets and still has problems that affect humanity today. In some respects, I found this limited the stories because I like my Sci-Fi to be epic and be withdrawn from the plights of humanity today. Nevertheless, I did like the stories and would be interested to read more about these characters, especially Mackay and the crew of The Great White.

Dead Eyes is priced at £0.99 on Amazon at the minute and is a steal at that price so go and get it! If you like Sci-Fi definitely check it out and let me know what you think of the short stories!

For author’s official website click here.
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