Your response to Burn the Orphanage will likely be influenced by your experience of the visual and narrative culture of video games from the 80s and 90s. The series, from the creative team of Sina Grace and Daniel Freedman, deals heavily in nostalgia value. In the first two issues, that reliance on its audience's fondness for the games of their youth paid off, as it was bolstered by snappy writing and a healthy dose of fun, but in this third installment, nostalgia isn't quite enough to power the story through a slogging plot.
I knew nothing about Veil going into it, and I'm convinced that the best way to read the first issue is to approach it as a blank slate. So, it might be advisable to read the book before you read this review, but if you're wondering whether or not it's worth the $3.50, know that it most certainly is. Writer Greg Rucka and artist Toni Fejzula has come up with something so unusual and so splendidly crafted that the wait for the next installment is going to feel incredibly long.
In Velvet #4, the eponymous spy tracks down another lead as she retraces the fallen X-14's last footsteps, and what she finds along the way brings the mystery a little too close to home. Writer Ed Brubaker and artist Steve Epting have put forth another solid issue that explores the world of Cold War spy craft with a deft hand, but as they scatter even more chess pieces across the board, it's getting harder and harder to keep this story straight. Keeping the reader off balance is a risk, but it mostly pays off here.
Luke Fox made his debut as the new Batwing nine issues ago, and in my review, I wrote, "The only thing that really sets Luke apart from the rest of the Bat-clan is his relatively happy home life." Oh, how times have changed. In Batwing #29, we see the Fox family careening toward destruction at breakneck speed. Most importantly, we see how recent events have impacted Luke's outlook and his approach to crime-fighting. The wise-cracking optimist is gone, and in his place is someone that not even Batman is sure he can trust. This is character development done right.
It's not always a good thing when a comic book feels longer than it actually is, but with Loki: Agent of Asgard #2, the sense that you're getting as much story as the creative team could pack into a single issue is most certainly a positive. This month's issue, by writer Al Ewing and artist Lee Garbett, takes us deeper into the types of missions Loki is performing for the All-Mother, while giving us a glimpse into his endearing attempts at living a normal, civilian life on Midgard.
Tom Taylor has utterly transformed Earth 2 into a recklessly cool and mouth-gapingly awesome book. While completely respecting everything that came before, Taylor is showing us that he is completely unafraid to steer this series into a fresh and often shocking direction. The latest entry continues to give us surprises, character development, and the intense insanity of a Superman gone bad.
Issue #21 begins a new arc, but readers beware, this is no jumping-on point. For those of you who have been reading this title from the beginning, either of the series or of Taylor’s run, you will be pleased and probably terrified to see the further developments of the main players involved. The new team of Batman, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen continue to figure out how to survive and triumph as Superman continues to be an unstoppable and nightmarish threat.
Not content with its already great ratings, HBO's Game of Thrones is trying a different tactic to broaden its demographic.
HBO announced Wednesday that the company is teaming up with a number of music artists to produce a 10-song Game of Thrones "mixtape" entitled Catch the Throne: The Mixtape. The cable network is hoping to drum up even bigger ratings for the series' 4th season premiere with the help of hip-hop and reggaeton artists Wale, Big Boi, Common and Daddy Yankee, among others.
According to HBO's official press release, all of the collaborators are Game of Thrones "superfans." Each song is inspired by stories and themes from the first three seasons and includes sampled tunes from the show's official soundtrack. Showrunners hope the mixtape will "encourage and inspire" listeners to catch up with the show.
Robert Venditti has been putting the Green Lanterns through the wringer since his debut on the book. The series has been taken in a new direction, and while it’s been good there’s something that’s been missing. Issue #29 finally gives us that element, and while that’s fantastic, some disjointed artwork drags the proceedings down just a bit.
Today’s GLC finds itself in the middle of a war and hated by the universe. It also finds itself led by Hal Jordan for the first time ever. This has been a problem for a variety of reasons. Hal’s the kind of guy that jumps into any situation feet first. This has helped him as Lantern, but has only hurt him as a leader. Venditti finally addresses that here, and it results in some personal growth for Hal and forward momentum for the Corps. In addition to this important development, Venditti also manages to give us several touching moments throughout this book. Hal, Saint Walker, and Kilowog all get their moments to shine.
Jeff Lemire is approaching the end of his most explosive Green Arrow arc to date, The Outsiders War. Issue #29 gives us part 4 of this particular arc, but the roots of this story stem from issue #17 when Lemire first began his run on this book. Everything that has been set up is certainly starting to pay off, but the shocking ending will leave you in anticipation as to how the heck Lemire is going to pull this one off.
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.
Uncanny X-Men #18 boasts a really swanky cover that only pertains to the contents in the loosest, most metaphorical sense. This issue is a jumbled combination of plot threads and timelines as Brian Bendis deals with the fallout of Hijack's expulsion, the sudden disappearance of Kitty's group (as seen in All-New X-Men), and flashbacks to the initial arrival of Kitty and the young X-Men. There are some strong scenes of characterization here, but the issue fails to come together as a cohesive whole.
You have to hand it to Kieron Gillen. Even if he's saddled with writing another Mandarin story so soon after Matt Fraction's Mandarin epic, at least he isn't telling the same story we've seen before. And that pretty much sums up the strength of his Iron man run in general. Even if some elements don't always come together, at least Gillen is trying new things and experimenting with Tony Stark's world.
Frictional Games has revealed a new teaser trailer for its next horror game, SOMA, along with an update on its development goals.
"We are currently about a week away from the alpha of the game," says Frictional's creative director Thomas Grip on the PlayStation blog. "This video showcases a few in-game scenes along with fresh voice work. Our hope is to give you a taste of the feel and atmosphere that SOMA will have. It also contains a few clues on what the game’s story will be about."
He estimates that the final game length will clock in at around eight hours.
Note: Full spoilers for the episode follow.
Elizabeth’s “Hey, this job could put our kids in danger” epiphany could sound foolish, but The Americans manages to sell it via the writing, tone and Keri Russell’s performance – and because what happened to Emmett and Leann and their daughter last week was so horrible. Elizabeth’s newfound paranoia about any and everything makes sense in its dark, almost macabrely funny way – if the Jennings themselves are hidden among us, then who else can be there, ready to hurt their children?
Philip meanwhile had a lot to deal with this week. Martha innocently mentioning a possible job opportunity was a fire he had to put out – he’s married to this woman to get access to her coworkers and if she moves somewhere else, it leaves him with nothing. Matthew Rhys and Alison Wright play really well off each other in the “Clark” and Martha scenes, showing a mundane life where one half of the couple is manipulating and using the other person in incredible ways - and yet still, amazingly, remaining sympathetic.
Warning: Full episode spoilers follow.
Aside from the lackluster supporting villains, the most common complaint Arrow viewers (myself included) seem to have about the series is that it never devotes enough time to the flashback material. But wait long enough and Team Arrow usually delivers. "The Promise" was structurally very similar to Season 1's "The Odyssey." Aside from a simple framing sequence set in the present, this episode was all flashbacks. And it came at a crucial time, as Slade finally revealed himself to Ollie in the present at the end of last week's episode. Now, more than ever, we need to know what went down on the island and what exactly caused the rift between these two brothers-in-arms.
You have less than a week to get ready for Titanfall. That said, we have two important pieces of news for you in today's show: a new Xbox One system update is on its way, the need-to-know info of which is detailed, followed by word on Titanfall getting a Season Pass and free DLC. Meanwhile, the Uncharted series looses an important contributor.
Here's what we covered:
Microsoft listened to fan feedback and made some important changes to their console. Here's what you'll get.
Creative director and writer for Naughty Dog, Amy Hennig, has left the comapny. She worked on all three Uncharted games and the latest installment in the series.
No pricing details just yet but Vince Zampella confirms that the game will included paid and free content.
Ubisoft has revealed the physical deluxe edition of its forthcoming turn-based RPG Child of Light, now pre-orderable in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The news coincides with the fresh co-op trailer that dropped today.
The deluxe edition contains additional game content such as a bonus quest, an extra character, and a pack of collectibles. Additionally, it comes with an A2-sized poster, a 24-page art book, and a keyring in the shape of Igniculus, guide and light source to main character Aurora.
While Child of Light will also be downloadable on Xbox Live and Nintendo's eShop, the press release suggests that the physical deluxe edition is only available for PC, PS3, and PS4. Importantly, the PS3 and PS4 versions in both retail and digital format will come with a cross-buy option; players buying Child of Light will be able to play on both platforms at no additional cost.
It's perplexing to think that Magneto has been X-villain numero uno for 50 years and never starred in his own solo series. Cue Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. In light of this momentous occasion, the usual complaints about there being too many X-Men books don't apply. This series picks up right where Uncanny X-Men #16 left off, with a disillusioned Magneto having turned his back on both the X-Men and the Brotherhood and seeking his own path once more. His powers are diminished, but Magneto is intent on acting as a one-man X-Force, hunting and killing all enemies of the mutant race.
Detective Comics #29 marks both the end of “Gothopia” and John Layman’s run on Detective Comics. I never found the Gothopia illusion very compelling, so I’m glad to see Layman again devote this issue to Batman’s efforts in the real-world to thwart Scarecrow's plans. There’s not as much tension to the script as you might expect given the scope of Scarecrow’s plans, but sometimes it’s satisfying just to watch Batman be Batman and deliver a swift boot to the chin of injustice.
Batman/Superman Annual #1 serves as an epilogue of sorts to the recent “Mongul tries to destroy the world through a video game” storyline. But while that doesn’t necessarily sound like an attractive proposition on paper, in practice it turns out quite nicely. Greg pak immediately reminds us why he’s such a great fit for the Superman universe as he plays the Batman and Superman families off each other.