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Heart of Millyera: Prelude review

Written by:
Jess Cate

Illustrated by:
Jana Hoffmann

Reviewed by:
Tyrone Burns


Often with new comic book writer’s and artists, their first issue is an experiment. A test to see how well the team works together and how well the writer’s vision translates in the artist’s work. The writer must adapt normal storytelling to the comic format and sometimes that means the first issue can become overloaded with words

I’m happy to report that is not the case with Jess Cate’s “Heart of Millyera”. The opening pages trade lengthy word bubbles for appropriate art that has the reader in suspense. You will be grasping the early situation through the pictures instead of the words around them.


Set in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, three geology students and friends- Ida, Gilbert and Celeste go on an assignment trip to a lake that had flooded a town thirty years ago. Their hope is that deep down within the lake lays treasure worthy of a good grade and recognition.

Ida and Gil (Gilbert) put on a pair of custom diving suits (that Gil made) and venture deep into the lake, while Celeste stays up on land in case anything happens to goes wrong.

What Ida finds down below will obviously set up the basis for the upcoming story.


The art by Jana is warm and yet understated. There are a few pages that reveal bits of humour without dialogue at all. Every panel has a reason to be there and I was actually surprised with how much had happened in just a few pages and yet it never felt rushed. The art’s tone properly compliments Jess’s story and leaves us excited and intrigued about the events that could follow.

Though the beginning hints at darker things to come, this comic had a few funny moments throughout. There is good chemistry between the three main characters and their ‘back and forth’ made each interaction very entertaining.

This may just be a prelude, but there is so much hinted and teased that it’s no wonder Jess and Jana had a successful Kickstarter with this title.

Congratulations to them both! This comic deserves the praise it has been getting. I can’t wait to read more!

Interview with Mike Cooper

Interviewed by Tyrone Burns

For the uninitiated who are you?image

Mike: During the day I’m a computer game developer. I’ve been doing that for 16 years and I now teach it. But then, when I go home at night I become Doctor Mike 2000 and I make comics. I’m the writer/artist for Universe Gun which is a psychedelic superhero comic that I’ve been making for the past 3 years. Prior to that I used to make game mods.

What games did you mod?

Mike: I did superhero story driven missions for “Freedom Force” back in 2002, with a very Stan Lee, Jack Kirby sort of vibe. Freedom force was made in Canberra and I met some of the people who worked on it. It was my first taste of creative fame in many ways.

I started making my own storyline with my own characters. I was competing with people who were making mods with the X-men and Fantastic Four and other known characters. Word started to get around that mine was kind of good. Being a game developer meant I could do a lot of the technical stuff. A lot of people thought it was really cool because it had good lines of dialogue and character voices and so on.


I ended up making a mod called The Strangers which ended up being longer than the original game. I got a bit carried a way there. Then I made a couple of more artsy mods. There were Tales of the Navigator which was kind of meta-fictional on how the superhero universe was created and then I made an expansion on that game. It got about 10,000 downloads.

I eventually ran out of steam, I was making this in my spare time while I was working insane hours in Ratabag Games. I would get home at 9pm and then start coding the mod into the night, making character textures, or writing some new dialogue. I was doing it all by myself. That was from 2002 through to 2005. I went back for a brief return where I was working with an artist I had met in the forums. I did a mod called The Amazanauts featuring 7 versions of Ms.Amazing all working together, which is actually going to be my next comic series. I’m going to be revisiting that stuff again after Universe Gun is finished. I’ll probably make a note in the comic that you can actually play with these characters or prototype versions of them.

So you can still use your mods on Freedom Force today?

Mike: Yeah it’s still on my website, I’ve got a little games tab down on the bottom of the website where you can get all the Freedom Force stuff. You can get Freedom Force for like $3-5 dollars on Steam and my mods should still plug into it.

Let’s talk more about what you’re currently doing. Namely your comic series Universe Gun.

Mike: Universe Gun is going to be a 12 issue series. 7 of them are out now. I’m currently in the middle of number 8 and drawing that.

What are the main themes of Universe Gun?

Mike: It’s a superhero comic set in the 37th century. Whilst it’s brightly coloured, psychedelic and very silly in places, it’s very politically driven as well.

What types of political drama do we see in the story?

Mike:The X-men for example always compares to the civil rights moment, the mutant rights was similar to black rights and so on. What I’ve tried to portray and discuss in Universe Gun however, is the war against drugs. Since the 1980’s when the Reagan administration decided to get tough on drugs, the American prison population soured dramatically and it’s actually disproportionate with black people who are getting locked up for possession of drugs for recreational use. I’ve mirrored this exactly in Universe Gun with superpowers. Superpowers are illegal; people get locked up for it; low grade ones are referred to as recreational superpowers.


With the character “Kid Identity,” who you first meet in prison, has been sort of hassled by the police for minor misdemeanors with his power- a malleable face. So I tried to cover it all, “Recreational nonviolent offenders,” using phrases like that.

The other big one is wealth and equality. In the same time period since the 80’s, wealth and equality has been massively polarized on our planet. The rich have been getting incredibly richer, all with this lie of trickled down economics. So I try to apply that to a superhero universe. Imagine if you could buy and sell superpowers. These rich hoarder types would basically gather them all for themselves.

I believe the main villain who gets revealed in issue 5 is the epitome of this wealth polorization. In the comic we have the Life Star. An alien satellite that brought superpowers to our universe. It’s like a natural resource that just turned up. It’s now being strip mined. All the good stuff from it is being taken and locked up in a tax haven. It’s this “woman’s jewelry cabinet” where she’s keeping power rings, some of which used to be people. She’s got a machine that takes people with superpowers, disintegrates them and turns them into a ring that she can wear.

“What was the story I heard?” It was about some oil sheik type dude suffering severe depression. Having this big downer for months because he only became 29th in the Forbes rich list that year. The previous year he had been number 27.

It just made me think, if your incredibly rich and you have a giant bank account, money that goes in there does absolutely nothing to your tangible lifestyle. You wouldn’t know any difference unless you keep looking at that number on your phone or your computer.

That money, these millions that have been diverted from tax dodgers into the wealthy one percent pockets could do massive change. What would happen if it were applied at ground level? Where talking about people not being able to afford medicine;  people not being able to live normal lives;  people not being able to afford food and shelter. So yeah I’ve tried to apply the superhero equivalent of that. What if your very life was taken from you so someone could have your superpowers sitting in a cupboard?

I could tell when meeting you that you didn’t want to just create a comic fluff piece and that you really wanted to say something important.

Mike: Yes I do! When you look at the superhero genre in general, nearly every superhero that has ever been created is either a policeman or a soldier and we actually do a lot more in our world than that. What would the world be like if you had superheroes who were hairdressers, or if you had superhero programmers? For that reason half the cast in Universe Gun are basically non-combat characters. The first two you meet, Princess Amtora is a games programmer. Kid Identity is a street kid but he doesn’t really have the ability to fight or anything, yet he does still have useful powers.

In Issue 2, I introduce Coriolis Boy and Star Girl. They are kind of the strong arm of the team who actually think like superheroes because they have been raised in that lifestyle. I tried to show how inapplicable that is in some ways to a more complex world. You can’t just go out and fight evil everyday with your fists.

How has the series changed since you started?

Mike: It evolves. I did have it fairly well planned out, like the overall storyline when I started. Things keep changing here and there though. There was an entire character who I’ve had to ditch. I’ve had to jettison certain other things because it just didn’t fit anymore. I was going to do space but thought “yeah this story can be told without introducing certain complexity.”

Every now and then something occurs to me and I think “oh my god that fits really well!” If I just move these little pieces around then I’ll actually have something that makes more sense than what I originally envisioned. So yeah, it kind of morphs a bit. There was a lot of planning that went into it. I originally came up with these characters in 2006. I started making the comic around 2013, and I’ve played most of the characters online in mmo’s (massive multiplayer online) and workshopped them in that way. So I actually had plenty of time to figure out who they are and come up with a story for them.

Who is your favourite character?

Mike: (Laughs) That’s a really hard one!

If I didn’t like any of the characters I wouldn’t have put them in there.

Possibly Princess Amtora. She is the first character you meet and in many ways she is the biggest stand-in for me in this comic. She is a games programmer like me. I’m an identical twin. There is generally two of her because of her self duplication abilities. By page 14 she falls in love with herself. She was searching for her ideal programming partner. On Mars they have a total lack of work life balance. Everyone just works all the time which is making the great database smarter and it finds arranged marriages for them. Her ideal programming partner it turns out is herself. That’s a kind of veil reference to a writer looking for an artist. For ages I thought of myself as a writer looking for an artist until I realized the best artist to draw this stuff is actually myself. So I just kept practicing at the art.

What have you learned over the years of writing and doing art?

Mike: I’ve learned about the art of stringing a story together in a comic. I look back on the first couple of issues and I wince a little bit. But “never look back or you’ll turn to stone!” So I’ve learned a lot about story structure. I’ve had a fairly decent understanding in place from making games before, that were narrative driven. “What does the player or the viewer or the reader need to know? What facts do they know by this point? If your going to set up a twist, what facts do you need to reinforce before hand?”

I think I’ve learned more on how to apply that in comics. One of the first pieces of advice you always seek as a first time comic creator is, don’t start with a massive series.

I’ve always thought, “yeah I’ll be ok.” The two downsides I’ve found to that are that I look back on the first two issues and I think they could have been better and if I got that practice out of my system before then, I would’ve had more consistency. Also, I’m now trying to sell seven issues at one time to people at markets and corners. “Hey, spend $30 dollars on me whom you’ve never heard of on these characters you don’t know.” Having a smaller bite size intro piece would be nice.

Why did you decide to write comics?

Mike: It’s a lifeboat for these characters. I’ve had them in my head since 2007, and I think it occurred to me that basically I was going to die with all these characters in my head. I always toyed with the idea of making comics.

I’ve always thought “argh, it’s a lot of hard work”, but then I just thought “my daughter’s moved out; I have fewer responsibilities than I used to when I was making games and being a single parent. Now is the time I thought “right ok, I’m just going to do this! I’m going to make a page every week.” I went to a friend of mine (David Williams), who runs a West Australian course on how to write comics. He introduced me to perspective. I think that was the final piece of the mission. It was like “ok now I’ve got all the skills I need to tell a story, rather than just drawing characters with a vague background.”


What’s your advice on time management?

Mike: Just set yourself a goal, one page a week. You will be amazed what you can fit in around a day job and everything. Don’t feel depressed! “Oh it’s Thursday, I haven’t done the inking yet. Oh it’s Sunday, I’d better finish this off before I go to work tomorrow.” It works wonders!

Quick questions:

Who is your favorite writer?

Mike: Grant Morrison

Who is your favorite artist?

Mike: My favourite artist is a guy called Seth Fisher who died in 2006. My current favourite artist is Philip Bond.

Where do you see comics going in the next 10 years?

Mike: I don’t see comics changing in a lot of ways. Just telling new and different stories.

Where would you like the industry to go?

Mike: We have things like comiXology which is great, I would like to see that get better in some ways, so that it can be easier to broadcast the comics you’ve made. So, not so much change the way you make them, but change the way people find them.

Who is an overrated writer?

Mike: Geoff Johns. I’ve never really clicked with him.

Who is the most overrated comic character?

Mike: I easily think it’s Wolverine.

Who is underrated as a writer?

Mike: Peter Milligan, he did X-Static which is like a reality TV take on the X-men. No one writes young love like Peter Milligan. He is currently doing Brittania.

Who is the most underrated character?

Mike: Wonder Woman has the most untapped potential. But I think Black Canary is a character who is absolutely fantastic.

Marvel or DC?

Mike: I follow writers, but if I had to then it’s DC.

If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be?

Mike: It would have to be an artist I think. I would really like Mike Allred to draw my characters; the guy who did X-Statix.

What’s your advice for new writers and artists?

Mike: Just do it and practice! There is no better time than now. There is never going to be a perfect time to start a comic. Treat your first comic as practice. Drawing a comic makes you draw all sorts of weird stuff that you don’t get to draw just drawing pin-ups or characters. When do you ever draw someone going underneath a desk to fix some wiring on the bottom? Never! Unless the story calls for it.



The Greenlight Webcomic S2EP01 – RECAP


Chrononauts review

Written by Mark Miller and illustrated by Sean Gordon Murphy.

Reviewed by Tyrone Burns.

Think Back to the Future with Bill and Ted having a baby, then that baby gets reported to police because its on steroids. That’s Chrononauts!

Have I got your attention?

If it isn’t clear, Chrononauts is a blast. Just sit back, open the pages up and switch off that part of your brain that acknowledges what could and couldn’t happen if this was in real life. Chrononauts is for the reader that wants fun and action over realism.

Lately, I’ve not been able to finish a comic book volume in one sitting, but Chrononauts demanded it. It keeps a smile on your face from beginning to end and for myself that makes it a must read.

Let’s talk more about the story.

Two best friends:-

Corbin Quin: one of the smartest minds on earth and the main creator of the time machine.
Danny Reilly- hot shot, acts first, thinks later kind of guy.

You can see even early on that these two guys are each other’s world. Its top gun bromance to the max and it’s awesome. The quickness in how each other reacts to make sure the other is ok is commendable (I have to start being a better friend).
Corbin in cooperation with NASA has created a type of satellite that can go back into anytime in the past. With specially designed suits he is able to go back into time himself. When testing his baby out and diving back in time in an attempt to record Christopher Columbus founding of America, he encounters a hitch. Veering off course in time and space its up to Danny to go in an rescue his best friend.

Not everything is as simple as it seems though, and what follows is a crazy roller coaster ride that jumps through time to monumental moments in history.
You get the feeling Mark Miller is having a lot of fun when writing this. Compared to his more darker comics in the past, Chrononauts is more of a light, short tale filled with the kind of sensibilities of old. Where a lot of comics today are heavily based around politics and proper science, Mark Miller embraces comics of yester-year with fun/action made first priority.

What would you do if you could travel through time and space? Would you stick with the ‘prime directive’ and change as little as possible?

Chrononauts plays with the reader’s keen eye as we get to witness along with Corbin and Danny some pretty significant moments in time. At one point they have a rather humorous encounter when witnessing the birth of Christ.
It’s in these great moments that the art shines. If the art wasn’t on point with some of these time periods encountered, then the excitement would of been lost.

Thankfully though Sean Gordon Murphy does a fantastic job of drawing backdrops. Whether it be a beautiful vista in Paris or ancient Egypt, he manages to draw the scope beautifully.

After a stressful day it’s nice to sit down and read something that just takes your mind off things. Plus after reading I guarantee you will feel better for it.

Doctor Strange Volume 1: Way of the Weird Review

Written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by Chris Bachalo

This was my first taste into Doctor Strange’s lore. (About time right!)
Luckily then, what I had was the perfect introduction to Doctor Strange. This isn’t exactly an origin story, however some of his earlier time as a magician and his training under the Ancient One is displayed, but only to help us readers understand Doctor Strange’s revelations and the story itself.

Normally I get straight into the story, but I feel I should first comment on the art. It’s fantastic! I can only imagine how fun though frustrating it would of been for Aaron (the writer) to convey his mind’s eye to Bachalo (the illustrator).
The title for this volume is called “Way of the Weird” and if you skim through almost any page in the book you are bound to find some highly unusual imagery.
We see characters with mouths and eyes protruding out of their heads, and Strange himself isn’t just an observer to the weird.. he is often at times the one doing it.
One page has him eating what is described by another character as ‘culinary afterbirth’. The book isn’t afraid to go strange (no pun intended) and I have to give both the writer and illustrator the thumbs up for that.
The story was highly enjoyable. We are introduced to Zelma Stanton, a librarian who comes to Strange for reasons she can’t well explain. After an unusual first meeting, Doctor Strange offers her the job to be his librarian.. of sorts. He shows her and us as readers the side effects of being earth’s Sorcerer Supreme and the outright crazy world he has to contend with on a daily basis. We see glimpses into magical horrors that lurk in some of his hidden rooms and it becomes clear how much Doctor Strange is sacrificing to keep the world we know from being destroyed from the face of existence. The weird he has to deal with face on would drive almost anyone mad. He even warns Zelma at one point not to think too much about it all otherwise it could turn her mind crazy.
Though we are not shown too much of the main villain in this first volume, it seems his mission is this: To rid every dimension of magic. It isn’t long into the story that we learn whoever this antagonist is, he means business and is well on the way to his dream becoming a reality. His reasons and motives so far are unknown, but in order to stop him Doctor Strange has had to assemble every magician and every Sorcerer Supreme he can to help stop this destroyer before magic is taken forever. No magic means every existence would just collapse in itself. Thus ending many if not all universes.
The story isn’t all doom and gloom, there are parts that had me smiling and parts that had me squirming.

I genuinely could not have picked up a better first read of Doctor Strange. Almost 100 percent of what he does in the marvel universe is unseen by others. He really is in some ways Marvel’s biggest unsung hero. The weird isn’t just something he faces, it’s something that has taken its toll on him and yet, there he is doing all he can to keep the earth from being destroyed. The book does a wonderful job of explaining Strange’s personality without giving us a history lesson.

If your new to Doctor Strange, do what I did.. pick up this comic and delve deep into the weird.

Reviewed by Tyrone Burns.

Doctor Strange Retrospective


Created by Artist Steve Ditko

Also known as: 1242100-doctor_strange_2

Sorcerer Supreme
Master of the Mystic Arts
Stephen Sanders
Captain Universe
Vincent Strange

Real Name:

Stephen Vincent Strange

First Appearance:

Strange Tales #110 (1963)


One of the most powerful sorcerers in existence.

His power is drawn from one of three sources: an entreaty with powerful mystical entities or objects, the bending of the universe’s ambient magical energy and his own psychic resources.

The list of Strange’s magical influences include energy projection and manipulation, matter transformation, animation of inanimate objects, teleportation, illusion-casting, mesmerism, thought projection, astral projection, dimensional travel, time travel and mental possession.

He is constantly learning new powers, thus the full list of what he is capable of is unknown.



Skilled athlete and martial artist.
Great knowledge of medical and magical spells.
Expert surgeon (with the help of magic).

Rogues Gallery:

Baron Mordo – expert of black magic and mystic arts. Can summon demons. Often classed as the biggest rival and arch nemesis of Doctor Strange.

Dormammu – Ruler of the Dark Dimension. Immensely powerful. Conquerer of universes.

Mephesto – Emperor of Hell, an immortal extremely powerful demonic entity.

Nightmare – King of the Dream Dimension, nigh-omnipotent, nigh-omniscient and nigh-omnipresent, tormentor of anyone who dreams.

The Hood
– can go invisible, has limited levitation abilities. Corruption and power has overtaken his mind.

Group affiliation:

The Order
Midnight Sons
Former disciple of the Ancient One

1972- Helped form The Defenders

1973- Earned the title Sorcerer Supreme
1988- Strange Tales Volume 2 featuring Cloak and Dagger
2004- Origin remade
2007- Animated Movie
2008- Left the Avengers
2016- Marvel Blockbuster Movie



Origin Story:

Stephen Strange was born in 1930. He was the eldest child of Eugene and Beverly Strange. At age eight, Strange was attacked by demons working for apprentice sorcerer, Karl Mordo, only to be rescued by Mordo’s mentor, the Ancient One, protector of Earth with the title the Sorcerer Supreme. At age eleven Strange, after aiding his injured sister Donna, was inspired to pursue a medical career.

Whilst home on vacation from college for his 19th birthday, Strange and his sister went swimming. While in the water, Donna suffered a cramp and tragically drowned. Unable to save her, Stephen felt a sense of personal failure and guilt for not having the medical prowess to perform a miracle.

After earning his medical degree in record-breaking time and while having a five-year residency at New York hospital, Strange started to become highly arrogant. Near the end of his 5-year residency, his mother Beverly died. Soon after that tragedy Stephen started to become distant. While his wealth and ego grew and before he turned 30, Strange turned into a celebrated neurosurgeon. Two years after his mother passed away, Stephen’s father Eugene became severely ill. In fear of dealing with another family members death, Stephen never visited his father’s death bed. This infuriated Victor (Stephen’s brother), and while leaving Stephen’s apartment one night in a fit of anger, he rushed out on to the road and was accidentally hit by an oncoming car. Blaming himself, Strange put Victor’s body in frozen storage hoping that the future would hold an answer to revive the dead.

In 1963 when Strange was 33 years old, he was involved in a car accident that causedstephen_strange_earth-616_from_strange_tales_vol_1_110_0001 major damage to the nerves in his hands. Thus his surgical career came to an end. Stephen’s ego would not allow him to accept any positions as a consultant or assistant, so Strange desperate as he was, sought out and pursued all possible treatments for a potential cure for his hands. In time his fortune dissipated and he became a shadow of his former self.

Soon however, Strange began hearing rumors of the mystical Ancient One and with his last bit of money he bought a ticket to the East where he found the Ancient One’s Tibetan palace.  While asking the Ancient One to fix his hands, to which he refused, an attack was brought upon the sorcerer. It was soon after that, Strange learned that the Ancient One was Earth’s magical and mystical defender and that the head of the attack came from none other than the sorcerer’s pupil Mordo. For the first time in years Strange acted unselfishly and tried to warn the Ancient One, but Mordo mystically prevented Strange from doing this. For the sake of the world, Stephen made a vow to learn the ways of magic himself and counter Mordo and his ilk. Becoming a disciple of the Ancient One he spent years being instructed in the art of sorcery, learning how to tap the innate mystic powers of both himself and the world around him, as well as how to invoke the power of awesome entities or principalities, who resided in their own realms, most notably the three benign beings known as the Vishanti. Some years after Strange became a student, Mordo left to seek greater power and in the future he would often clash with Strange in an attempt to prove he is the greater disciple.

Thus over the course of his comic history, Stephen Strange would go on to learn the great powers of the universe while battling entities from other realms.

Written by Tyrone Burns

Fables Volume 2: Animal Farm review.

Written by Bill Willingham 

Illustrated by Mark Buckingham


Volume 1 teased ‘The Farm’. We know it was a place where fabled creatures who cannot pass as humans go to live. The Farm was praised by Snow White and other enforcers but always seen as a prison to the fabled residents.

Well in Volume 2 we get to see the farm up close and personal.

Twice a year Snow White visits the Farm to check on the fable community. This time on her visit she brings along her sister Rose Red and Colin (one of the 3 little pigs). Rose Red is forced into visiting the Farm with her sister as a type of community service because of her involvement in the antics of Volume 1. Colin however is being moved to the Farm because… he is a talking pig and can no longer be in New York without us Mundies (Nonfabled folk) noticing.
All is not well however as once they reach the Farm, it becomes clear that many of the residents are not happy, some feel like prisoners so much that a rebellion was started against the fabled community. The leader of the rebels is non other than Goldilocks, with the 3 bears as her minions.They are willing for heads to roll to reach their goal and their target becomes Snow White.

The more I get into the series the more I’m seeing writers freedom. Each character is portrayed in fresh ways and again Bill isn’t afraid to show some fan favourites in shocking new lights. No fable is safe both physically and morally. Goldilocks for example, in her original fairy tale, she is shown as a happy-go-lucky kind of girl who happens to make friends with a family of cute bears. In the Fables comic series however, she is a bit of a psychopath. Sure, what she wants for all fabled creatures is fair but her means to achieve that dream is filled with blood and murder of anyone who feels differently.


Bigby Wolf takes backstage here, this is a story of two sister’s Snow White and Rose Red and the events that take place in this story could end up killing their relationship forever. What makes things interesting is that you can relate to both, Snow White is like the fable government telling the fairy tale creatures what is best for them, and Red Rose is like the fairy tale creatures telling the government what is best.

The art is beautiful here with each character illustrated exceptionally. In some ways they look so much like the way you remember from childhood that when they are either displayed in a darker tone or are murdered in gory detail, it takes your eyes time to adjust to what your seeing.

I enjoyed Volume 2 just as much as the first and I look forward to what happens next.

Written by Tyrone Burns

East of West Volume 1 Review

Written by Jonathan Hickman.stk617091
Illustrated by Nick Dragotta.

When I picked up East of West, I admit I mainly chose it because of its cover. I am going through a western phase and I’ve been watching a few old classic movies.
So when I started reading East of West I expected to read a comic version of something like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and well.. I was wrong.

So very wrong.

What you get instead with East of West is a futuristic world with heavy biblical/mythological themes in a ‘dystopian version’ of the United States as the backdrop. You have to concentrate on every page, on every bit of dialogue as Jonathan Hickman the writer throws you right into the thick of it, expecting you to grab your bearings right of the bat.

The story is centred around the four horsemen of the apocalypse; Conquest, War, Famine and Death. Death has gone rogue and the other 3 horsemen are on the search to find him.


Hickman once said in a interview that Death is a Clint Eastwood type with the suit and cowboy hat whose character feels “betrayed”, while the other 3 horsemen are described as feeling “abandoned”. It’s clear to see, especially later in the Volume that the horsemen are multidimensional and in someways, their titles do not completely represent the personalities within.

The story is made even more interesting with the introduction of a newly formed group called “The Chosen” who are elites from Seven Nations with the sole purpose to bring an end to the world.


So what you get with East of West is a sci fi western story that though highly based in fantasy hits home about human imperfections. It looks at the world half empty with “the end of the world” becoming imminent because everyone hates each other to much to solve the biggest problems. Yet with all that doom and gloom it paints a glimmer of hope, coming from the most unlikely of places.

The start of this adventure is well told and cleverly paced. It doesn’t hold your hand but it makes the characters and the world so compelling that even if at first your as confused as I was, you want to keep reading, keep piecing together the puzzle and when things do start to become clear, you may smile as I did, in excitement for what could follow.


For me the most intriguing character was Death, yes we have seen a thousand interpretations of him but somehow this version was fresh, even a little ‘human’. Though killing may be his job, it isn’t all there is to him. He is moved by something, willing to fight with all he has for it, and reach the dream he feels was snatched away from him.

The art is well suited and displays each of the four horsemen brilliantly, all of them given distinctive features to compliment their name’s. East of West’s world is made of greed, lust, fear and darkness and it shows well on every page.

If your wanting to flex your comic reading muscles and try something a little different then I couldn’t recommend a better book. I am gladly going to add this to my ‘must collect series’ list and find out more about the apocalypse.

Written by Tyrone Burns

What’s Dan Reading? Locke & Key

lkThe Locke family move into a new house to try and start again after their father/husband is murdered. The house itself has a series of keys hidden in it that open fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. The house also has a hate-filled creature within it that will stop at nothing until it forces open the most terrible door of them all.
Written by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son). A story that spans over generations that delivers horror at its best. Each time a new key is introduced its power is so mind boggling that you can’t even imagine how Hill is going to write it into the story, but he does beautifully.
Gabriel Rodriguez’s art fits this story very well. His thick outlines really makes his style distinctive. Characters are very easy to tell apart and you always know what happening in high action scenes.
This is a 6 volume series that has finished so if you love it you can binge read the whole thing.
-Dan. The Best Dude Out.

Staff Pick: Black Science

Nick-bigWritten by Rick Remender with art from Italian artist Matteo Scalera Black Science perfectly pairs deep personal and familial drama with bonkers science fiction. At the head of the series’ large cast is Grant McKay, an anarchistic scientific genius who has just completed the creation of the crowning achievement of his career: the pillar. With the ability to jump between the infinite quantum realities of the onion Grant plans to plunder the eververse for the betterment of mankind. However as one would expect, things go horribly wrong from the get-go. After the pillar is sabotaged and jumps Grant, his two young children, his two lab assistants (one of whom he is having an affair with), his financial backer, and his Black Science, Vol. 1: How to Fall Forever TPsecurity guard completely unprepared into a weird and wacky parallel universe, all hell breaks loose.
With the Pillar jumping randomly between dimensions one stranger and more dangerous than the last (did somebody say giant millipede death-cult or giant frog people?) Remender imbues the story with a sense of tension and extreme pace that pulls the reader deeper into a mystery that slowly and secretly reveals itself. As a reader, interest in the series will be cemented by a fantastic scene in which an alternate version of McKay appears and attempts to steal the protagonists children claiming that if they remain with their real father the kids are sure to die.

The level of imagination at play here, from the beautifully imagined parallel worlds to the complex implications of multiple versions of the same person creating multiple versions of the same deeply dangerous machine, is truly impressive. Each of the characters journeying with Grant come complete with fully fleshed out back stories and complex motivations.

With four volumes of Black Science available at the moment this is a perfect series to jump in to, smart and very cool it is a seriously enjoyable read.

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