The Walking Dead – Issue 156 Review {Only MINOR Spoilers This Time!!}

I’m going to have to do this review different than I’ve been. Usually I go heavy on the spoilers for you, lazy non-reading bums fair readers, but this issue was MAJOR so this time I’ll keep my spoilers minor or non-existent if I can. Often we get promised or it’s speculated that a particular issue is going to be a key issue but usually, from my vantage, it’s mostly bullshit claims. Good issues, sure. Great? Hell yeah. Key… not so much and not in a while. I’m going to go on record now and say there was probably only 2 key issues since #100. 125 when All Out War ended and 144 when Alpha (or her people) took out a good number of fan favorites off page and then stuck their heads on pikes to mark the border of her land.

156 was speculated to be key and whoever said that was clearly in the know. This issue is not to be missed. A MUST READ for all fans of the series. MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR Stuff and Thangs go down in this one and for me, it was completely from left field. Sure we’ve pondered the possibility of this issue’s twist but IT REALLY HAPPENED. There’s no going back now. No, Rick’s not dead and Kirkman has said many times this is Carl’s story so breath easy, it’s not that kind of twist (though I can definitely see the events of this issue as the first step toward the former). The issue mainly revolves around Negan and it 100% ties into things we’ve been learning in the currently running Image+ side-story, “Here’s Negan” but that’s about all I can tell you. That and HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT!!!! Avoid synopsis’ of this issue, avoid the wikias, AVOID ALL THE THINGS… except Geeks of the Round, of course, cuz we know how ta be respectful.

In the aftermath of 156 expect another six issues or more of gripping reading. If this issue doesn’t set off the biggest series of events in Walking Dead history, if the bodies do not pile up as a result… well, I may have to give up reading because that would mean Kirkman and Co. have no clue what they are doing. Lucky for us, they do. Get ready for some serious shit in the months to come.

The Walking Dead – Issue 155 {SPOILER-FILLED} Review

Forgive my lateness on this one, I was actually fortunate enough to be working right around the corner from the only comic book store in a “thousand mile radius” on the day 155 came out but unfortunately I was working on a roof for 8 straight hours and wound up with the worst sunburn of my life. In fact, one of only maybe half a dozen sunburns I’ve ever had. I don’t burn, I brown. I’m fucking sexy like that.

Speaking of fucking sexy, 155 is the issue that finally, to me, justifies The Whisperers. I’ve been on the fence about them the whole time. I don’t know what it is, while clearly being a formidable threat, this hasn’t felt like a war Rick couldn’t win. Maybe it was Alpha. She showed her weakness in her initial interactions with Rick when sending her daughter to live in his communities. A leader who fears her own people indicates a people who are disorderly. Disorder breeds chaos and chaos cannot a war win.

On the Alexandria side of this issue we delve into the propaganda which Rick uses to solidify his leadership role, for the good of his people. On The Whisperers side we learn they may not be as disorderly as first impressed. Surprisingly, it’s not the arrival of Negan that gives The Whisperers some clout. It’s the second consecutive appearance of Beta that shows us we finally have something to fear. His loyalty to Alpha and fierce nature coupled with what seems to be pretty tight security and an organized home base proves to us that not only are these people fucked in the head but they do in fact have their shit together.

Somewhere in the middle of Alexandria and The Whisperers camp, but definitely on The Whisperers side of the border is where 155 actually began with Michonne defending a STILL ALIVE Aaron from Beta and his gathered crew. Just as it seems like she may swing her Katana for the last time, Dwight and his own team show up and save the day. Beta escapes with a few of his men and a newfound knowledge of Negan’s deception from the last issue that gained him access to Alpha and their camp. Michonne makes Dwight promise to go after him and get revenge before heading off to get Aaron to safety.

Next we go to The Whipserers base camp where Negan is still trying to “woo” Alpha. The interactions between the two are instant classics. Your mouth says no but your eyes say, “Fuck me until your dick breaks off inside me and fuses into some kind of Barbie doll crotch.” Alpha doesn’t take to his charms and responds with a WRACK! across his mouth. Then along comes Beta to inform Alpha that Negan lied his way into their camp. This information puts Negan in a jam and he seemingly breaks down and admits he was scared. He also admits, “When I’m scared out of my fucking mind and pissing my pants, in the manliest way possible, I will lie through my fucking teeth.” By the end of their conversation, Negan tells them everything from issue 100 until now. We are left with what looks like a possible alliance as he promises to have so much to offer The Whipserers.

The issue ends with Michonne arriving at Hilltop with Aaron but not before showing big man Carl in bed waking up next to Alpha’s daughter, AKA Not Sophia, AKA they were doing it. The very last pages bring us back to Dwight and his crew (Dwight – Whose place will soon be taken in the AMC show’s version of things by actor, Stephen Ogg. How’s that for a Wild Speculation? TV DWIGHT MUST DIE!!!). They finally made it out of The Whisperers land and when asked why didn’t they follow after Beta like they promised, Dwight responds, “You don’t get it, do you? We crossed their border and they KNOW IT. We engaged the enemy on THEIR territory. This was and act of war.”

Bone chilling or boner inducing! Your choice. Either way you won’t come off this issue with bad feelings unless you’re a total jerkface like our own, {NAME REDACTED} and {NAME REDACTED}. I’m Turd Grendle and this was my review of Walking Dead 155. Good day to you.

 

Captain America – An Open Letter to Marvel

To the Captain America Steve Rogers team,

How does it feel to give validity and a supportable hero to hate groups?
Seriously… now every racist and homophobic parent has a comic to give to their children that shows them it’s okay to hate, because that’s what Captain America does. You’ve just glorified the very thing Marvel has made great strides against with characters like Ms Marvel, Moon Girl, Miles Morales, Red Wolf, and Starbrand and Nightmask.
Of course, controversy sells, and that’s likely why such a shocking step was taken, and no matter how it ends up, even if Cap gets beaten to hell and back by the Avengers, we still have a mainstream Marvel hero for those who hate.
I really can’t believe this concept made it through without anyone just stopping and saying “wait, do we really want to give hate groups a comic to rally around and love?”
Yours disgustedly,
Ayoub

Belated Reviews #2- Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return (2015)

After that last nightmare, Belated Reviews #1, I am trying really hard this time to actually enjoy my reviewing experience. To that end I went out and grabbed what I considered a no-brainer. 2015’s six issue series, Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return, from BOOM comics.

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Written by Brian Lynch who you may know as a screenwriter of stuff like Hop, Puss in Boots and Minions among others. As for his comic book work… only the hardcore have probably seen this name. Most of his work is with licensed film to comic adaptations (specifically a few Joss Whedon properties), a 3 issue TMNT microseries, an issue of Spider-Man, something about a zombie Julia Childs and some other stuff I care even less about. Ink and Pen work done by Jeremy and Penelope Gaylord, whose names I am afraid to Google and colors by Whitney Cogar. Marketed as the long lost 3rd film in the series, my inner child is going wild right now. I was a major fan. Saw both movies in the theater, owned just about all of the toys, played the NES game until blowing in the cartridge just wouldn’t work any more and even watched and loved the cartoon series. Like I said, this should be a no brainer.

And that leads us to…

Expectations

In case you skipped my intro to this article, I’m expecting a lot. Maybe too much. I will try too keep the whole expectation vs reality thing in check but that very well may be easier said than done. At first skim of the first issue, the art is fun and colorful. It feels like Bill & Ted. There seems to be a lot of talking and not too much action but with six issues, we should be good. I’m super excited to get started on this unlike last time when I nearly gave up from skimming the pages alone. Am I about to read a six issue Bill & Ted 3, will it be something completely different than expected or am I about to give up on these sort of adapted properties altogether? Let’s stop stretching words and find out right now.

Issue #1

Hold on to your blubber tires, here we go… This is in fact a continuation of the film series as the first issue kicks off shortly after the end of Bogus Journey (5 seconds after to be exact).  Their big, world changing, hit song is out, there’s even a cover band, “Wild Stallions” (who’ve already mastered that one song), and already they are being asked… when is the next song coming? They get to work on cranking out that next hit but so far all they’ve come up with is a tune called, “Girl (Why’d You Build Those Robots?)” which is really just a veiled confession of Bill’s feelings about De Nomolos not liking them. To remedy this, B&T decide they should head into the future in order to find out what their next song is supposed to be. And with that, the adventure begins.

After our main story ends there’s a shorter story called Bill & Ted and the Bogus Virus. (It’s the first of six self contained shorts that are tacked on to the end of each issue and for the most part, they are as enjoyable as the main story.)   

Verdict so far: I’m not going to give a lot of details because I’m enjoying this and at the very least I’m recommending the first issue. I’ve left you all plenty of cool to unwrap on your own. So far, it’s the Bill & Ted 3 than never was.

Issues #2-6

Once I got into this I couldn’t stop. The series is a quick and easy read. While it feels slightly more like Bill & Ted 3 by way of a Saturday morning cartoon than an actual 3rd movie, my fan fervor has been satisfied. The story is pretty straightforward, as it should be, so I’ll keep to the bare necessities to avoid spoiling your fun. After the events of issue one, Bill & Ted are in the future and meet the teen De Nomolos who has spent his life as the kid who would grow up to try and kill the founders of modern (or future depending on perspective) society. Despite his future (unfound as of yet) hatred and attempted murder of them, Bill & Ted set off to help young De Nomolos make friends and woo the punk rock girl he loves. To do this they set off with their tentative new best friend forever in the phone booth to teach him to art of kindness. First stop, Woodstock and an obligatory ’69 joke. *For the young: Woodstock was a mega-concert held in 1969.

This is where Issue #3 begins and the series takes us on a sort of montage throughout time where we visit characters from the previous films. The nostalgia value is strong from here on and this is pretty much where I knew the series was going to be a “one sit pony”. Roughly an hour later and it was all over.

Final Verdict: At the end of the day, this is Bill & Ted not some high brow entertainment full of twists and turns. Without any more information you can surely guess exactly where this series is going and that’s fine. Again, this is Bill & Ted and that’s exactly what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few twists in the story but you’ll see them coming a mile away and to discuss them would ruin your experience. This would have definitely been a worthy third film and it would have been awesome to see the two-headed evil robot Bill & Ted and robot Station battle it out on the silver screen but if we never do get the forever promised Bill & Ted 3 at the very least we’ll always have this and that’s not so bad. If you’re into this kind of thing and have some free time, definitely get your hands on these six issues. I hate myself for writing this but…. it was most excellent.

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Image+ Reveals Negan’s Profession Pre-TWD!!

It has finally happened, folks! Negan’s pre-apocalypse profession has been revealed and he was NOT a used car salesman as previously suspected. It’s even better…

He was a GYM TEACHER!!!

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Image+ is a new monthly mag from Image comics and in each issue for the next 12 months 4 pages of Negan’s backstory is being revealed totaling a 48 page story called Here’s Negan. The first issue came out April 27th and it started off as a simple game of ping pong in a garage between Negan and some teenage boys. Negan wins and gloats before challenging the other kids to step up and take him on. No one does and as the beaten boy runs off his friends follow but not before apologizing for him being ‘kind of a pussy’.

After they are gone a woman comes out and yells at Negan for cursing at children and says she just got a call from some parents complaining about him. He’s supposed to be a role model and if he keeps it up he could lose his job as a coach at the school. He defends himself by saying he was only trying to be the “cool teacher” and she should only hear some of the stuff the students say. Before she can argue, the woman collapses and Negan runs to her screaming, “Baby!?! Baby!?!?”

Are we all thinking the same thing here? Is the woman he’s calling baby his wife or girlfriend? One can only assume. What other assumptions come from that? Perhaps that woman’s name is…. LUCILLE!?!?!

Only 4 pages and I am freaking out with excitement. All will finally be revealed!!! …in a year. I can’t promise I’ll review each installment of Here’s Negan because they are only 4 pages each but if they are as good as this you can count on it. At the very least stay tuned here for all the major reveals over the next 12 months. So far so good and I’m glad I’m late to the party with this first issue because now I only have to wait a few days for the next one!

The Walking Dead – Issue 154 {SPOILER-FILLED} Review

If the title wasn’t enough… please don’t read any further if you don’t want the current issue of Image Comics’ The Walking Dead spoiled for you.

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That’s Glenn. Issue 100. You’ve been warned…

So, getting to it, the cat is out of the bag and in a big way. That cat of course is our favorite used car salesman, the one and only, Negan SomethingFuck. We don’t know his last name yet but with his backstory being revealed over the next few months in Image+ we may very well know soon enough. Negan is out of his cage and has found The Whisperers.

Negan and Beta

After killing Whatshisface Whoshisname, the kid who who broke him out of prison due to a grudge with Rick Grimes, Negan encounters Beta (second-in-command to Alpha) and a gang of flesh-wearing Whisperers on the wrong side of the border. If you don’t know what border I’m talking about then why the hell are you still here? Stuff and Thangs go down, mostly semi-clever wordplay, and Negan convinces Beta, who he gives the name, Frowny McTwoknives, to take him back to their camp so he can meet the head cheese.

Once at the main camp, Negan meets Alpha and it’s love at first sight… at least for one of them, Negan… or at least so it seems, who knows what his true motives are at the moment but that was pretty much it for that storyline. While it doesn’t sound like much I found myself enjoying this part, and the issue as a whole for that matter, quite a bit more than I have in recent months. It hasn’t been all bad lately, just kind of spotty.

We also had a Carl/Maggie/Andrea story where Andrea and Mayor Maggie meet on the road between Hilltop and Alexandria. They talk about baby Hershel to keep him relevant and about how Rick wants Carl to come back home to Alexandria while their war with The Whisperers still looms. There’s some reflection on the lives lost over the run of the series and ultimately how Carl is no longer a boy, as he’ll say a little later to Maggie upon her return, he hasn’t been for a long time.

Upon Andrea’s return to Alexandria she is bombarded by propaganda images painted on the town’s walls, “Silence The Whisperers”. This doesn’t sit well with her and when furiously confronting Rick she gets sidetracked by his injuries from the last issue. She asks him what happened and he says, “I became a better leader.”

Last but definitely not least, we have another Walking Dead cliffhanger. Michonne and Aaron are searching for Negan and are right on his heels throughout the issue. First they discover, damnit I’ll look it up, Brandon’s body in a field. They notice he hasn’t turned yet and realize they are getting warmer, Negan could be lurking anywhere around them. As they head off to continue their hunt, Brandon opens his eyes but it doesn’t look like he’s turned… he looks alive. But that’s not the cliffhanger I meant, that’s the cliffhanger I overlooked. The one I meant occurred shortly after Michonne was pimping Jesus to the now single Aaron.

Jesus Pimped

Just one panel after Aaron is condemning Jesus for using Alex as a bootycall, Frowny McTwoknives AKA Beta, who at this point in the story is a few men down after sending some escorts with Negan to the main camp, attacks our two heroes and let me tell you, if you haven’t jumped ship yet you better because this is the big one….

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Aaron seemingly meets his end by the hand, or knife, of Beta. They don’t confirm 100%. This isn’t even the final frames of the issue. They finish with the end of Negan’s story as he arrives and proclaims his “love” for Alpha. Personally I think they should have sequenced it with this after the Negan bit, especially if Aaron really is dead, but that’s me. I could be wrong and I usually am.

And that’s its. All the major bits from The Walking Dead #154 in case you need to know but can’t get to your “local” comic book store or you’re just like our own {NAME REDACTED} and you’re too lazy to read the damned thing.

Tell us what you think about the current storyline in the comments below. Let’s get some chatting going.