DEATHSTROKE / JOHN FLOOD / MS. MARVEL / THIS DAMNED BAND / X-O MANOWAR [Reviews]: Your Annual Dose of Death (Stroke)

Top of the Sunday morning, afternoon or night to you geeks! What Sunday would be complete without an edition of the Sunday Stash? Well, we’ve got you covered in that department with a sampling of new comics from around the industry.

Let’s dig in and see which titles are worth checking out…

FLOOD #1 – BOOM! Studios
"The Apostle" Lance Paul @Lance_Paul
“The Apostle” Lance Paul @Lance_Paul

A man without the need to sleep is the premise behind Justin Jordan (The Strange, Talent of Luther Strode) and Boom’s new series. John Flood is a man medically experimented on 10-years ago that no longer needs sleep to function, but due to this he is in a constant state of delusion. Living in a constant dream state makes his day-to-day life an insane fun-house of reality and dream constantly over lapping. While this makes him one part Sandman and equal parts Constantine, it does lead to some unique and eccentric private investigating.

Page one starts this comic off with a bang; unfortunately, it then loses you for the next 2/3rds of the comic, till it finds its stride again for a solid close. Most of that time is spent fleshing out a supporting character that this Traveling Nerd lost interest in very quick. If only more time had been spent on the main protagonist, Flood, this book would of been a solid Hit! The talented art of Jorge Coelho (Sleepy Hollow) does help deliver on this warped premise.

John Flood opens strong and dips in the middle but closes again with a strong finish. Boom! does have an interesting premise that has legs to stand on. Only time will tell how long John Flood lasts– the book, not the character. 3.5/5 Sleeping Pills (again!)

THIS DAMNED BAND #1 – Dark Horse Comics
"Salvation" Ryan Scott @radioadventure
“Salvation” Ryan Scott

Dark Horse is continuing to offer comic book readers alternatives to superheroes in their latest new book, This Damned Band. The story follows the fictitious band MOTHERFATHER at the height of their commercial success in 1974, via a documentary that is being shot about the band.

The idea of a comic book about a 70’s psychedelic rock band is fairly interesting in itself, especially if you are a music buff who is looking for a departure from the usual caped crusader comic book adventures. However, the book IS titled This Damned Band for a reason, as the band has apparently made some mysterious dealings with the devil.

The majority of Paul Cornell’s (Wolverine, Action Comics) story for this first issue sets up each of the individual characters and the dynamic between them. It is pretty straightforward with only hints of the supernatural up until the very end. But the book needed the traditional “this is why you need to read issue two” twist at the end. Tony Parker (Mass Effect: Foundation) does quite a good job of capturing the spirit of the psychedelic era with his art in this first issue though.

At the end of the six issues, this could wind up looking more like a lengthy pitch for a new Adult Swim show. 3/5 Bibles.

"Cardinal" Gary Brooks
“Cardinal” Gary Brooks

To be completely honest I just read the whole run in one sitting, then I read the Annual, so the story is pretty fresh in my mind.

I’ve always been a fan of the character Deathstroke, but never really got into him. I mean, what’s not to like? He’s a nearly indestructible cold-blooded killing machine who uses guns, swords and just about any other weapon he can get his hands on to get the job done. He’s like Punisher, The Wolverine and Batman all rolled into a one eyed weapon of mass destruction.

Fallout 4: Injustice DLC
Fallout 4: Injustice DLC

Well forget all that for now; with the DC reboot, Deathstroke finds himself reverted back to a younger self with 2 eyes and most of his memories back. Now on Paradise Island Allied with Wonder Woman — isn’t that paradise?? — and armed with a new bad-ass weapon forged by the Blacksmith of the gods (Hephaestus) that threatens to take control of him at every turn, he’s on a mission to kill a God.

Tyler Kirkham (Worlds Finest, Teen Titans) takes over penciling duties for writer/artist Tony Daniel (Detective Comics, Batman: Life After Death) on this annual, and with his level of beauty, there’s barely any drop in quality. In fact, I’d recommend that Kirkham give the immensely talented Daniel a breather every once and a while so we can see more. There’s no doubt that both of these guys are two of the best at what they do!

If you are a fan of the Deathstroke and you like pretty art (who doesn’t?!), give the Deathstroke ongoing a try– and don’t miss this annual, which continues the “Godkiller” storyline. 4.5/5 Hollowpoints.


X-O MANOWAR #39 – Valiant Comics
"The Priestess" Eva Ceja - @evaceja
“The Priestess” Eva Ceja – @evaceja

What happens when a man has to keep the peace between the human race and a colony of aliens in search of a new home? X-O Manowar #39, that’s what up.

Valiant Entertainment is at it again with Green Lantern scribe Robert Venditti’s action-packed, sci-fi series X-O Manowar that keeps getting better. Our hero Aric of Dacia, leader of the remaining Visigoths has just begun a new family life, when alien refugees seek his help. However, the plight of our hero is his struggle to keep his word of saving the alien nation from complete destruction as they battle the earthlings.

With the aid of some grandiose and breath-taking visuals from Rafa Sandoval (Catwoman, X-Men Legacy), this new chapter for X-O Manowar feels as though it will be an uphill battle for our hero. Sorry, buddy! Can’t wait to read more. 3.75/5 Bibles.

Valiant’s X-O Manowar #39 releases in comic shops this Wednesday.

MS. MARVEL #17 – Marvel Comics.
JaDarrell "The Belser" @TheBelser
JaDarrell “The Belser”

Salutations. The Belser returns to look over the latest issue of Ms. Marvel. Now, despite the fact I haven’t read this comic series as a whole, I’m not going to let down the parish of nerd punishment. That being said, I enjoyed my time with this particular issue.

In it, the current Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan teams up with her namesake. That’s right: Carol Danvers, former Ms. Marvel and current Captain Marvel. They are teaming together to rescue Kamala’s brother (cue the DUN DUN DUN DUNNN).

Most of G.Willow Wilson‘s (A History of the Future) writing elaborates on the mentor/protege relationship between the two, as the older Captain Carol is schooling Kamala on how it’s done. Adrian Alphona‘s (Runaways) art differs in that Danvers looks super-heroic, while Kamala looks like as plain of a kid as possible. It’s a cool little story and sure to please all of the title’s dedicated followers. 3/5 Belser Bibles.

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