World Comic Book Review

A Deep Six’d Publication

27th May 2022

Empress #1-2: Mark Millar Delivers (again)

Empress 1, 2
Icon Comics, June and July 2016
Writer: Mark Millar
Review by D.G. Stewart, May 17, 2016

A critique of this title involves two curious vectors.

First, at some point in many people’s lives, sadly, they can become involved in very unhappy, abusive or even violent relationships. This can occur, particularly but by no means exclusively, when a person is young and lacks judgement and experience in respect of the substance of a happy relationship.

Setting aside the nature of mis-spent relationships for a moment, and on what might seem at first blush off tangent, American comic books seem to have a steady supply of science fiction villains (featured in superhero comic books, ordinarily) with beetle-browed, monolithic features, a grim demeanour, and who are exclusively male. These include, in no particular order:

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Roots of a Mystery

“Trees” Volume 1 (review)
Writer: Warren Ellis
Image Comics, February 2015
Review by DG Stewart, 4 April 2016

World Comic Book Review was hoping this month to review volume 2 of “Trees”, but the publication of the second volume has been delayed until mid-year. The price to pay for enjoying the enormously creative output of British writer Warren Ellis is that his comics frequently suffer from delays in publication. Here is our critique of the first volume, published in 2015.

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Under New Management

Turncoat #1 (review)
BOOM! Studios, March 2016
Writer: Alex Paknadel
Review by Neil Raymundo, 25 March 2016

“Turncoat” on the face of it is a run-of-the-mill detective story with a female protagonist. Marta Gonzales is a down-on-her-luck retired policewoman trying to make ends meet as a private investigator. Her latest case involves a rich kid who ran away a decade ago and fell in with the seedy underground.

What differentiates this title from routine detective tales is that the case is actually a minor detail in a much bigger, and more interesting story, and further, “Turncoat” is a science fiction story with a fascinating backdrop.

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An American heart of darkness

“Manifest Destiny”
Volume 1: Flora & Fauna
Volume 2: Amphibia & Insecta
Volume 3: Chiroptera & Carniformaves
2014-2016, Images Comics and Skybound Entertainment
Writer: Chris Dingess
Review by DG Stewart, 19 March 2016

Writer Joseph Conrad published his masterpiece novel “Heart of Darkness” in 1899. The novel described Mr Conrad’s experience with colonial barbarism in the Congo, as a study in the transience of human morality. While as a consequence of the commercial benefits of colonialism the small kingdom of Belgium was rendered increasingly wealthy, sophisticated and gentile, its colony in Africa became increasingly shadowy, the focus of unadulterated evil exerted by its European overlords. The vehicle for this novel is a perilous and increasingly disturbing journey up-river to meet a man named Kurtz who has by his experiences become stripped of humanity. It was and remains a profoundly disturbing and influential work.

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