World Comic Book Review

19th September 2023

John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vault #1 (Review)

John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vault #1 (Review) Storm King Comic, July, 2017 Writer: James Ninness “John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction” is a new horror anthology series from Storm King Comics. This imprint is the publishing arm of American film director John Carpenter and his wife/collaborator Sandy King’s production company, Storm King Productions. … Read more

Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 (review)

Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1
IDW Publishing, July 2016
Writer: John Layman

“Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens” is a crossover comic book from American publisher IDW Publishing. As the title suggest, it features three extremely popular science fiction franchises. The central figures of each go head-to-head against each other in a story that is expected to favor flashy action over narrative depth. (“Predator” began its life as a motion picture starring action actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and features a monstrous alien which hunts humans. “Alien” is a series of motion pictures involving a terrifying “xenomorph” species with acid for blood, retractable jaws and a penchant for laying eggs inside its human victims.)

Do not envy the task of a writer who needs to craft a solid, coherent and believable inter-franchise crossover, especially if the characters exist on completely separate and incompatible universes or timelines.

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Cryptocracy #1 (Review)

Cryptocracy #1
Dark Horse Comics, June, 2016
Writer: Van Jensen

American publisher Dark Horse Comics’ “Cryptocracy” tackles the concept of shadow governments through a story about the so-called “Nine Families”. This group have, since time immemorial, watched from the shadows and manipulated major historical events from behind the scenes. The Nine Families saw themselves as shepherds of humankind, halting or accelerating civilization’s progress as they see fit. (For those familiar with Brian Azzarello’s “100 Bullets” (Vertigo Comics, 1999-2009), the concept evokes The Trust, a group of thirteen families who essentially control the United States.)

The first issue is spent mostly on world-building, introducing the hierarchy and power structure of the world within the comic through an “onion” model; the outermost layer being the 7+ billion humans on Earth, and the core consisting of the Elders and Priests of the Nine Families. Between them are various categorizations ranging from rank and file agents to high ranking, senior members of the families.

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Aliens: Defiance #1: Weyland-Yutani’s Rogue

Aliens: Defiance #1
(Dark Horse Comics, April 2016)
Writer: Brian Wood

One of the most striking characters in the movie “Alien” (Twentieth Century Fox, 1979) was the android character called Ash. The movie is set partly in deep space, and partly on a misty planet, where a face-hugging monster leaps out of eggs lurking in the ruins of a creepy spacecraft. Motivated solely by Machiavellian directives from executives at the sinister business venture called Weyland-Yutani Corporation, Ash the “synthetic”, as he is called, has a complete disregard for human life and objectifies his crewmates as either obstacles or suitable hosts for xenomorph incubation. Ash’s secret mission is to secure an asset capable of being potentially weaponised, the horrific alien spawned from the facehugger which has horrifyingly started to prey upon the crew of the freighter Nostromo. Ash’s betrayal of his fellow crew members is necessary to meet that objective.

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