Author: Dan McGuiness

Chakra the Invincible: Secret Origin review.

409579-_sx360_ql80_ttd_Chakra the Invincible: Secret Origin.
Written by Stan Lee, Sharad Devarajan, Ashwin Pande, Scott Peterson.
Illustrated by Jeevan J. Kang

“The only thing worse than failing is not even trying.” That is Chakra’s motto in the same sense that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ is Spider-Man’s.

The phrase really sets up the theme of the story, eventually motivates Raju to become the superhero Chakra and let’s be honest, Stan Lee is great at catchphrases.

Chakra the Invincible is the first Indian hero from the mind of Stan Lee. Meant for all ages and the story doesn’t disappoint.

Before becoming Chakra, Raju was just a boy trying to live a normal life with his brother, Sameer. Sameer has had to take the responsibility of bringing up Raju since their parents’ death and therefore he has become like an idol to Raju. At one point, Raju was trying to defend a man (who is obviously a nod to Stan Lee) from a group of young bullies but failed miserably. He had the heart but not the strength to deal with the group, but just when things got really bad for Raju, Sameer appeared and made quick work of the ruffians. Raju sees his brother as a hero and that inspires him.
p_5_31
Raju spends most of his time with a funny, eccentric scientist named Dr. Singh who, for the life of him, can never remember the boy’s name. One night, a group of thugs come to steal Dr. Singh’s work and in a hurry, he gives Raju his most important invention of all: the chakra armour.
From that moment on, we see Raju learning what the suit is capable of and how the suit can be used for good.

What we get onwards is an exciting accessible story that contains adventure, action and heart. Sure it may be too lighthearted for some but what lays deep in this story is a message that applies to the best of superheroes. Never give up. There are times, especially towards the end that Raju feels overwhelmed and alone. However, it is the symbol of what Chakra is that encourages him throughout to keep on trying.
p_5_03
The story is mainly centred around Raju and his brother but we do get to meet a few other characters. One that stands out to me is Leela, a neighbour to Raju who shows her affection through punches and teasing.

The comic is advertised for all ages and for the most part I would agree, though containing a few adult themes, they are more implied than shown. Chakra the Invincible does lightly deal with death and murder but nothing really steps into an area where I wouldn’t recommend it to parents for children. Just as long as the parents are aware of some adult themes similar to Uncle Ben dying in Spider-Man.

Though I do not know how much of the story came from Stan Lee, you can’t help but be amazed with what he has accomplished in his early 90’s.
18
The art is fantastic, think Ben 10 but with bold outlines that draw you into the picture and what’s happening in the scene.

I genuinely enjoyed this. Though sure it may not be as dark as other comics out there, it has a light spirit that is refreshing in a world full of such darkness.

Excelsior! Stan Lee has another hit with Chakra the Invincible.
Review by Tyrone Burns

Harry Potter and my Childhood Obsession. – Review.

received_853710488063958With my frequent visits to Greenlight Comics, I had come across a few of George Rex’s memoirs and had them on my to buy list for awhile. I heard good things, plus I’m always on the lookout for a good local read. Georgina’s comics mainly consist of autobiographical stories of her journey through life and her holiday adventures but don’t mistake them, they are funny and entertaining while the art is simple, cute and appropriate.

Harry Potter and my childhood obsession is about the dilemma of a Harry Potter super fan faced with the potential do or do not purchase the new Harry Potter book: The Cursed Child.
We get a fun, occasional laugh out loud look at the younger life of Georgina and her passion for Harry Potter. I have got a lot of respect for Georgina and her parents after reading this. They brought her imagination to life in such clever ways, such as taking photo’s of her jumping up with a broom between her legs on a trampoline so it looks like she is flying, or Georgina’s mum on her birthday making a alternate version of snakes and ladders where there is instead Basilisks and Phoenixes. Georgina and her family took no expense ever to make a magical world as real as possible and there is a great deal of warmth to be had knowing that.  One part that got me laughing was when Georgina had her eyes tested. She had desperately wanted glasses so she could look like Harry Potter, when the Doctor agreed she needed reading glasses Georgina exclaimed out loud a proud “YES” to the doctors confusion.
received_853710301397310

My enjoyment of this read stems from just how relatable Georgina’s early life felt in this comic. Knowing these events actually occurred made for more lively, empathy driven storytelling.  We all had our loves and passion as children and many of us put hard work into making our dreams seem real whether it be through pure imagination or themed bed covers. if we end up keeping that love when we are adults depends, but either way that childhood memory can stick with us, leaving with it a feeling of warmth and excitement. That is the feelings Georgina’s story left with me.
received_853710318063975
I will be picking up another of George Rex’s Comics soon. In the meantime I’m gonna reflect on my childhood passion.

Review by Tyrone Burns

LUKE CAGE RETROSPECTIVE

luke-cage-cover

Created by Archie Goodwin (writer) and John Romita Sr. (artist)

portrait_uncanny

Also Known As:

Power Man, Mark Lucas, Hero for Hire, Ace of Spades.

Real Name:

Carl Lucas – Changed legally to Luke Cage

First Appearance:

Hero For Hire (1972)

 

Powers:

Steel-hard skin that cannot be cut by the sharpest of blades.
Super Strength that allows him to lift up to 25 tons.
Recovery time caused by Injury or trauma is one-third that of a normal human.

latest
from Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

Abilities:  

Competent hand to hand combatant.
Superb Athlete.
Self Educated in Law and can speak several languages.

Rogues Gallery:

Chemistro – former chemist who uses the ‘alchemy gun’ capable of transforming matter.
Shades-  a clever criminal who knows how to play ‘the game’ to get what he wants.
Cheshire Cat- scout who has the ability to go invisible, become tangible and teleport.
The Purple Man- Mind Controller, can get people to do anything he says.
Cockroach Hamilton- Mob enforcer who has a powerful shotgun he calls Josh.
Cold Fire- Luke’s Brother James who becomes a protoplasmic being who can compose white-hot flames.
Tombstone- Hitman for the mob.
Moses Magnum- Terrorist capable of generating earthquakes and shockwaves.
Mr Fish- radioactive half man, half fish, gang leader.

Group Affiliation:

Avengers.
Thunderbolts.
Secret Defenders.
Heroes for Hire.
Fantastic Four.
Defenders.
power_man_and_iron_fist_50th_issue_cover
Highlights:

1972- The first black superhero to receive a solo series in Marvel Comics.
1978-  Iron Fist joins his series as its renamed Power Man and Iron Fist.
1992- New solo series call titled Cage
2005- Joined The Avengers
2006- Married Jessica Jones
2016- Netflix Series

History:

First comic story: Hero for Hire

11091-2572-12266-1-hero-for-hire
Luke Cage (then named Carl Lucas) is seen as a prisoner. We see him just leaving Solitary confinement. It’s clear even early on that though Lucas joins teams later in his crime fighting career he has always been comfortable alone. So when some prisoners pressure him into creating a riot, he refuses.. expressing that he is nobody’s puppet.
hero-for-hire-v1-1-page-3
A similar event happens when the prison guard/temporary warden named Rackham orders Lucas to act as a snitch and report on everything involving the prisoners. When Lucas refuses, the warden throws him back into solitary confinement and gives one of the guards authority to assault Carl. However given his respect for authority, Carl refuses to fight back which only taunts both the guard and Rackham even more.
It’s at this time that the New Warden appears. He had purposes arrived at the prison unannounced to see how the prison ran. Now seeing the disgusting way in which Carl was treated, the new warden fires the prison guard on the spot. Rather than firing Rackham though, the new Warden puts him back to work as a prison guard and orders him to obey the rules accordingly.

Lucas gets his wounds healed by a Doctor named Burstein, who tells Carl that he would like to work with him. Burstein has a science project and needs Lucas’s help to bring it to fruition.

Its now we get a flashback and a good look at Lucas’s origin story.

Carl Lucas was born and raised in Harlem. Spending most of his youth in a gang called the Bloods he made good friend’s with a boy named Willis Stryker. In and out of Juvenile Homes through his teens, it wasn’t until he saw how much his actions were hurting his family that he decided to better himself. While Carl was working in a legitimate job, his Friend Stryker was going up the criminal ranks. At one point Stryker was badly beaten by a mob and it was only thanks to Lucas that he was saved. Willis’s girlfriend now afraid of the life Willis was involved in decided to break up. Considering her closeness to Carl, Willis was convinced Lucas had stolen his girlfriend and out of jealousy and rage he planted heroin in Carl’s apartment. Falsely convicted Carl was thrown in Seagate prison.

Fast forward now to Doctor Burstein’s science proposition to Lucas.
The request was that Carl volunteer to have experimental cell regeneration. It was based on Super-Soldier serum Doctor Burstein had previously used on Warhawk.
Lukas agreed and the process began.
Lucas was placed in a electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound. Just before the procedure, Doctor Burstein left the area unattended.  former warden Rackham noticed what was going on and messed with the experiment control’s to try and to kill Lucas. However the process was instead exaggerated and granted Carl with a range of enhancements including Super Strength and durability.
Trying to grasp his new abilities, with his new found powers Lucas was able to escape Seagate and made his way to New York.
luke-cage-hero-for-hire-1-22
It doesn’t take Lucas that long to realise that his enhanced abilities could be used to bring in profit.
Changing his name to Luke Cage he begins his career as the Hero for Hire.

Written by Tyrone Burns

Fables Vol 1 – Reviewed by Tyrone Burns

Fables-wolf

Fables Vol 1.

Are you an old school Disney fan? Did Beauty and the Beast both terrify and enchant you as it did me? Does Snow White’s relationship with the Seven Dwarfs confuse you?  Did Maleficent’s harrowing death in Sleeping Beauty haunt your dreams? Do you remember being a child acting as the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk yelling FEE-FI-FO-FUM or was that just me? These classic Fairy Tales were made famous in the last century thanks to family friendly Disney films that were written well before their movie adaptations, and were originally much darker and full of mature themes.

The Fables series continues that dark tone but with a modern twist. The time period is near present day and most of the Fairy Tale creatures we know and love are now living in New York. These famous characters have to live among us non magical folk (Mundanes) in disguise. Pushed out of their magical worlds by an enemy only known as the Adversary and his army. The remaining magical beings were forced into hiding in the only place the Adversary doesn’t seem bothered with; the Mundane world.

Fables-Vol-1-Featured-Image

Being a video game fan at heart I remember playing Telltales The Wolf Among Us (based in the Fables Universe) a year ago and loving it. I had been introduced to the world and these famous characters in a new and surprisingly logical light I wasn’t expecting. The game was cleverly done and I remember promising myself I would read the comic series to see if it matches the games intelligent story and fresh approach to old faces.

Who Killed Rose Red? That is the question that starts the comic series off. The who did it, detective/crime vibe I get from the story reminds me of old TV classics like Columbo and Quinsy.

In Vol 1 you closely follow Sheriff Bigby Wolf (the Big Bad Wolf) as he goes on an interesting journey to find out who killed Rose Red (Snow White’s sister).
We meet new and old faces along the way and I can guarantee that there are a couple that are shown in new ways that will totally surprise you. Sometimes I was In shock with how they treated old classic characters to then think and realise …. the new interpretations actually make perfect sense and stay very much true to the original characters personalities.

Fables Vol 1 collects issue 1 to 5 and is a great read if you love old school fantasy or not.

STK462390

Planetes Volume 1 – Review by Tyrone Burns

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.08.10 pm
Planetes Volume 1

Holy Smackaronies! I just could not put this book down. While in Greenlight Comics I remember picking this book up and reading the synopsis, right below that there are some high praise quotes from well respected websites and people including Archie vs Predator! writer Alex De Campi who said Planetes is “My favourite sci-fi comics series of all time”. It was then I thought to myself “well this book should be worth a read” and thank goodness I picked it up. It wasn’t just worth the read, it is now my top read so far this year!

“I respect the selfish dreamers. Without them, space would still be a mystery.”

That is a line from about half way in this epic manga series written and drawn by Makoto Yukimura and it really sets up the tone of Volume 1’s story. Each chapter beautifully opens with a few full colour pages; It just blows my mind this book was written and drawn by the same person. So much talent and thankfully it is all on show on every page.

The journey within is set over the course of 3 years and though based around a team of Astronauts, the story mainly focuses on Hachiroto (Hachi) and his quest/obsession to own his own spaceship. The rest of the team include Yuri: A wise man with a tragic past. He is sort of the ‘Grown up of the group’. Fee: The comedy of the crew. If she isn’t piloting the DS-12 (their Garbage Truck Ship) she is smoking… hell sometimes she is doing both. Tanabe: The heart of the Bunch. Her importance comes more into play as Volume 1 concludes.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 12.06.47 pm

I said to a friend that Planetes is like the movie Gravity except with a deeper story and a stronger heart.
The Japanese are geniuses when it comes to putting multiple themes in one story without it losing focus and direction.
There are moments that are funny, silly, terrifying, heartfelt and sad.
I won’t forget the story I read. It touched me and left me with so much to think about.
Why do “the selfish dreamers dream? Why is it when we are living our dream we then dream of home?
Those are just some of the questions the book asks and I am so thrilled there is more to the story than shown thus far.

If you’re a fan of sci-fi or human exploration and contemplation you need to read Planetes.

This is now my favourite read this year and it is gonna have to take something mighty good to knock this off my number 1 spot.

STK685090

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén