About Gavin

I'm a lover of pop-culture, from movies to music to books to TV shows to well...comics, and just about everything in between. I'm also a history buff, and spent 4 yrs getting a fancy BA in it. When I was at said University, I got my learn on AND spent all my money on CDs and VHS (yup, I'm THAT old.) However, I'm happy to discuss any topic really, as I love a good debate or just to be proven right. I'm Canadian, so I wear shorts and flip flops 9 months of the year, but no, I am NOT fanatical about hockey (I actually prefer baseball, thank my American father for that!). I love the outdoors, but don't get out enough... I've got a sick twisted sense of humour (hence why I'm friends with these Shallow folks) and believe that laughter is the best medicine...except penicillin...cause laughter won't cure the clap.

Review: Lobo Vol. 1: Targets, by Cullen Bunn

Lobo Vol. 1: Targets (The New 52)Lobo Vol. 1: Targets by Cullen Bunn
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

ARC from Netgalley in exchange for honest review/feedback.

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OK, my waiting has finally ended! I’m now allowed to reveal that…Lobo is the WORST New 52 book I’ve ever read.

Cullen Bunn…2 “n”s together look like an “m” so it’s Bum, which is a synonym for “ass” and what comes out of an “ass”? “Shit”.

(Little known fact, Peter Milligan and Cullen Bunn are in fact, clones of Scott Lobdell and Ann Nocenti’s love child).

It’s been over a month, and I can’t recall much now, other than seething rage at how STUPID this was.

I was so fucking happy to get a NetGalley DC book, because they’re usually quite picky about who gets it…so of course, that should have had me worried when I got OK Green light approval…
That should have been more curious when I had a moratorium on comments or reviews until it was published. I tried to save you all…I think I might have prevented one or two reads…

Here’s the deal: Lobo we all “know” and “love” (Hardly do and barely acknowledge actually) the whole of his run, was actually an imposter. He’s decapitated and dispatched by the REAL, TRUE Lobo. Who’s actually quite an annoying shit to be perfectly honest. NO sense of humour at all. DC really cracked down on this. They literally sacrificed Lobo, the sense of humour character (similar to a Deadpool, but not as funny at all) in the opening pages. So DC kills humour. For real. It was like a terror cell showing you they aren’t kidding, no more humour in New 52 DC. Not unless it’s on OUR terms.

Once that apt metaphor is executed…like old Lobo…we get to watch the “real” Lobo go around and do some more killing, following around some idiots towards Earth, there’s some Superman appearance, yawn.

Then there’s some female Lobo-ette type girl, who’s seemingly a ripoff of Nebula from GotG? Or maybe she did exist before. Anyhow, she and Lobo are both apparently the appointed protectors of their planets, but Lobo killed his planetary leader for being evil/immoral/on the wrong path or some shit.
Lobo-ette, well she did the same thing to Lobo’s home planet’s twin planet. So they’re meant to be together? Or at war? Or something.

Honestly, I have such aching desire NOT to re-read this, even to save you all, that I’m just not going to bother trying.

The plot was hackneyed, stunted, idiotic, and chaos of the wrong kind. The character everyone wanted to see and thought they would see, was dead in the first few pages, DC editorial pretty much shitting all over the original creation of Lobo. He’s not a tweaked version, he’s literally a different character.

I didn’t know much about Lobo, but I wanted to know more, and this did NOT help. I’d like to go find old stuff now.

The best part? the moratorium on reviews until publish day (last week) helped my mind forget the pain and stupidity. I can’t pass it all on to you, my loyal reader(z)? and you’re much the happier for it.




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Review: All-New Doop, by Peter Milligan

All-New DoopAll-New Doop by Peter Milligan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Read in conjunction with DD week…D for Doop. Dumb, Dimwitted, Dullard, De-tarded, dispicable, displaced, depressing, desperate, etc.

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Doop was a pleasant Lillie addition to the Wolverine and the X-Men book by Jason Aaron, comic relief and inside jokes, but not a focus very often.

I guess he was a hit, so they decided to make a book about him…oh that was a baaad idea.

He’s the summary: what rhymes with Doop? Poop. What’s a synonym for Poop? Shit. This book is what? Yup.

Art stinks, story is just a suggestion here, not and actual plot, and they make Doop into a creepy voyeur who obsesses over Kitty. He videotapes everything, and then slides through the margins (because he’s a MARGINAL character, get it?) to help? Or just manipulate events. He also has a terrible storyline where he discovers that his mother is actually an asexual hermaphrodite. Oh that’s so funny! Hahaha someone is different! Also, early on, they let Doop speak English, which kinda takes away any need to be clever at all. This is a big fat turd of a book.

Doop is Poop.

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Apologies on lacking reviews…

Hey dudes and dudettes, I apologize for the lack of review activity here…I haven’t stopped reading, I just do my stuff on iPad now, and I haven’t figured a great way to transfer from Goodreads to here yet…I’m working on it, so if you’re at all interested, there’s some here that NetGalley offered for free and my thoughts on those. I’ll hopefully be putting more content up soon.

Review: Low Vol. 1 – The Delirium of Hope, by Rick Remender

Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of HopeLow, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The artwork here grows on you a fair bit, especially when you realize it’s like Heavy Metal crossed with Conan the Barbarian set in Waterworld.

It’s no secret to any of the Shallows gang, RR is one of my faves. The intro talks about his pessimism and how therapy helped him be optimistic and how it changed his whole world. I’m happy for him, but I can see how sometimes tortured artists produce better work.

This is not a bad book at all, but the one thing Remender usually had going for him in spades was his humour. Never did I worry he was going to go write for DC…however, Low is lacking any sort of humour. This is a major problem. For a book about optimism and positive thinking and hope, it was devoid of humour. Does this mean that humour is tied into being negative or pessimistic? I wonder, because people think I’m funny, and I’m not a wild optimist. I’m a defeated idealist who uses sarcasm to gloss over how much humanity disappoints me. However, my misery usually makes others laugh?
Either way, without the humour, this is just another slightly above average dystopian sci-fi book.

Humanity lives in cities under the ocean, as the sun expands and ruins the Earth…one woman is optimistic and full of hope…so,naturally all the bad shit happens to her and her family.

Her hubby dies, kids kidnapped, and her son descends into depression. Then a glimmer of hope 10 yrs later, and we are off on our merry or not so merry way…
For a book about optimism, it sure wasn’t happy. Ironic, no?

That being said, it is interesting enough to pursue, but not aggressively.

Thanks for the free copy NetGalley!

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Review: ODY-C Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction

ODY-C, Vol. 1ODY-C, Vol. 1 by Matt Fraction
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While the idea is interesting, changing the setting of Homer’s Odyssey to Sci-Fi and the genders all reversed, the actual execution is lacking.
In some places the art is wow cool, in others I feel like I could draw a more accurate body on a humanoid character.
Trying to match the prose style of epic poetry is admirable, but nuts. Fraction can’t tell if he’s going modern futuristic dialogue or ye olde Greek…it’s frustrating.

The triumph of this book is the colouring. Whoever the colourist is should win awards.

This was a free read now book of NetGalley, and thanks for it. The words above represent my honest opinion.

Fraction is becoming a little too miss and not enough hit for me lately, but that’s just my thoughts. He not boring, though. I will always give him that!

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Review: Drifter Vol. 1 – Out of the Night; by Ivan Brandon

Drifter Volume 1: Out of the NightDrifter Volume 1: Out of the Night by Ivan Brandon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hmm…well. Free on NetGalley!

I think this is another piggyback on the space western idea.

There’s no explanation which is a double edged sword…I like not being spoon fed, but a little context might help

This wants to be cerebral like the Prisoner or something, and I’m not quite sure…it could be potentially fun, or terrible.

Time will tell…

Art is a highlight for sure.

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Review: Dayblack by Keef Cross

DayBlackDayBlack by Keef Cross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Totally different, in this case, a good thing.
Vampire lives. In a town where pollution makes it darkness all day long, so he can act normally.
He works as a Tattoo artist, and modified his tat tool to suck the blood from his customers, who are mostly big booty ladies…kinda funny.
He also has a son, who’s actually a vampire hunter, but because Merce saw the angry face on one of those feed the starving wretches commercials on TV, he sent money for years, until the boy grew up and came to see him, calls him his dad, and makes an exception against killing dad.
All the Hunters are Mexican, and it explains why they all work labour jobs with access to sharp implements that no one questions…

Don’t let Trump read this or he will think it’s fact and scare the fanatics.

Another crazy thing? HIV is actually the way to kill vampires, and that’s why it arrived, and killed many vampires.

Just a couple whoa moments that seemed to be an interesting idea for a piece of fiction.

Vampires are also colour blind, other than red.

When he wants to get high, he has to find his dealer, get her to get high, then he sucks her blood enough to get high himself and save her from ODing…

It’s a crazy thing all around, and such a change of pace, I really enjoyed it. I look forward to another volume, more of his past as a slave, and his mother and what happened to her…

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Review: Southern Bastards Vol. 2 – Gridiron; by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour

Southern Bastards, Vol. 2: GridironSouthern Bastards, Vol. 2: Gridiron by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firstly, thanks to NetGalley for the free ARC! I’m happy to give my review in exchange for the chance to have read this.

Following up on the events of Vol. 1, this story focuses on Coach Boss, and how he got to where he is. Cue about every terrible thing that could happen to a kid, and that happened to him as a kid. Deadbeat Dad would be mildly putting it…he only wanted to play football, and through the determination and help of an older Black man, of course, he turns into a demon. But he injures himself badly, and the coach does everything he can to make sure that Euless Boss won’t go to College to play ball.

This need for football in his life leads Boss to a fateful decision, which ends up having repercussions in the modern day as well.

Again, the last few pages set up the return of Tubb’s daughter, which I hope we finally get around to next issue.

I think I finally figured it out though; this series is about how growing up in the South, and with a complex Father-figure, most of the characters are Bastards in some way, in that they’re without the guidance of the father or the father is dead. Just so happens they’re also bastards in the other way too.

I think I liked the first Volume better, but it speaks to Aaron’s skills as a writer that we nearly forget just how gruesome Boss’ crimes were and he’s almost a sympathetic figure.

Still, it’s a solid series, and I’ll definitely be continuing to read.

Thanks again NetGalley & Jason(s)!

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Review: Velvet, Vol. 2: The Secret Lives of Dead Men, by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting

Velvet, Vol. 2: The Secret Lives of Dead MenVelvet, Vol. 2: The Secret Lives of Dead Men by Ed Brubaker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally. I’ve been waiting for something great to sink my teeth into, and who should become available on NetGalley? Why my old friend Ed…Brubaker that is. Alongside for the ride is his other frequent collaborator, Steve Epting. (Winter Soldier arc of Cap).

I read and loved Volume 1 of Velvet, who’s like Ms. Moneypenny if she’d been an even more lethal machine than Bond.

In the last volume, Velvet found herself framed for murders she didn’t commit…unfortunately for ARC-7 (The Agency) she retained all of her field training and experience as an asset from before her 10+ yrs as the secretary to the Director.

This time around, they’ve caught on and they’re coming at her hard, but tons of questions arise, and Velvet turns the tables on them. She finds someone who might be able to help her, but with her desire to work alongside someone else, has she lost sight of the most important rule? Trust No One.

It’s great to have a female hero who kicks serious ass and is still sexy, even in her 40s…We don’t have nearly enough characters like that, and when leading writers like Brubaker do it, you know there’s going to be copycats soon. It won’t be the same as Ed’s work, but it’s great that they don’t all have to be young men.

The twists and turns sometimes can be ridiculous and forced in many spy/thriller books, but here it feels natural and legit.

I’m so very pleased to have got a chance to read this, and a thank you to Net Galley for making the ARC available. This is my honest review I give in exchange for getting to read this fantastic book.

Go out and grab this now! If you haven’t, start with Vol. 1!

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Review: Moon Knight, Vol. 1 – From the Dead, by Warren Ellis

Moon Knight, Vol. 1: From the DeadMoon Knight, Vol. 1: From the Dead by Warren Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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On account of it was my choice…Black and White week! (or Bi-week, as we’ve realized it’s sadistic to force KitKat to do 52 Banners in a year).

So here we go: The cover is Black and White, and Moon Knight is Black and White. Dull Colour Palette only the White pops. That and there’s a showdown between Black and White, good and evil in one issue.

I’m not sure if it had to do with the order of reading, but having read my last book (New Avengers Vol. 4 by Hickman – or Namor’s Big Balls, as I’ll call it), and finding it utterly lacking; this was a delight.

That being said, it wasn’t what I’d usually give 4 stars…but I for sure enjoyed it, I would recommend it to others, and I’m sad there won’t be more of the same. Brian Wood is great when it’s NOT Capes and Tights…so here’s hoping it doesn’t go the way of X-Women…

Anyhow, Marc Spector is Moon Knight, and also Mr. Knight, and also apparently a couple of other peeps…he died in Egypt, and they have lots of gods of afterlife, who returned Marc to life after he died being good for once in his life…

“I’ve Died Before. It was boring, so I stood up.”

Might be the most badass line I’ve read in comics in a long time…I love it. It would also rock as a movie tagline…Marvel, make this happen (also, my latest craze, Tom Hardy as Frank Castle!).

Warren Ellis is on form here, closer to Transmetropolitan than the crappy Avengers Endless Wartime book a few years ago…

This is another one where the art is supposed to look, I dunno, retro-gritty? Is that a thing? I think it’s muted greys and browns and such, so the White of Moon Knight’s/Mr. Knight’s getups pop well.

I like the 2 versions. Mr. Knight is the pseudo-disguise that acknowledges he’s the same beast as Moon Knight, but prevents him from being arrested as a dangerous vigilante, and allows him to work with the police…(I really thought that was a creative idea, plus the outfit is killer.)
Moon Knight is the one we know already, and would have recognized before this.

There’s some interesting stand-alone stories in the 6 here, the best stylistically are the sniper one (as Sam already highlighted in his review) which was awesome for the 8 panels per page, each disappearing to White blank space as another person was killed, until the page was empty…very cool style which elevated a story lacking much substance.
There was also the Raid/Judge Dredd style one attacking the building. Very fun style in what could have been sucky, because it was minimal on chatter.
Warren Ellis can write with the best of them (as he is one of the best) but here, he’s pretty minimalist, and I dig it.

There’s also a trippy one about Dreams/and inhaling dead people. Very trippy with a bit of a modern Poe feel to it (Telltale Heart).

None of the stories are amazing, and there’s not a ton of connection, but there’s enough here to interest me, keep my attention, and stylistically, very cool. This guy is similar to Batman, yes, but also Punisher-like. So Bat-Punisher? it works, yet he’s all his own man.

I honestly don’t know if I read it tomorrow if I’d give it 4-stars again, but I feel like I’d still enjoy it, probably enough to do 3+ stars and then I’d realize why I did give it 4. It’s ORIGINAL. It’s not original, it’s cool, it’s boring, but, it’s not like anything else, and neither is Marc Spector.

I sure know who I’ll call when some Ghost Punks come at me next time…hell, he’s Bat-Punisher-Ghostbuster-Dredd. Wow. And he rocks a sweet ride, suit, and plane.

Oh and he’s sorta brain damaged, and has been dead before…no big thang…

Check it out, you won’t find it derivative, that’s for sure.

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