Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 01/05/08 - Telltale Games Edition!

Hello all! This week’s quite the oddball in terms of new releases, but don’t fret, there’s plenty of industry mainstays to pad out the pile! However, pride of place goes to Elephantmen War Toys #3. Yes, it’s the final issue in the series, but I’ve just been enjoying it so much that it deserves this last shot at being spotlighted. In its previous two incarnations, Hip Flask and Elephantmen, the series shied away from showing the European war that led to its dystopian setting, only rarely making reference to the events therein. Here, creator Richard Starkings and artist Moritat bring it to life in vivid, gory detail, bringing about some of the series’ greatest thrills to date.

DC’s two biggest releases this week are Action Comics #864 and DC Universe Zero. The former of these is a one-shot by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, following on from their excellent Legion of Super-Heroes arc. Gary Frank’s art has been a perfect match for DC’s flagship title, displaying a clear understanding of action-packed storytelling, and with evident care being taken over the design of the characters and their world. If the writing maintains the high standard established in the previous arc, this should be an issue well worth reading!

DC Universe Zero, on the other hand, is the one-stop shop for all your DC continuity needs! Aiming to catch out-of-the-loop readers up on twenty-odd years of DC history, this 30p wonder should tell you everything you need to know going into the upcoming Final Crisis. Written by Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns and with art supplied by a host of fan favourites including George Pérez, JG Jones and Carlos Pacheco, this is 30p you can probably afford to spend. Particularly if, like me, you missed out on the entirety of Countdown!

Marvel’s week is less robust, however they do bring us perennial favourite Immortal Iron Fist and two new Thor releases! The first is the most significant, being the first release in hardcover of J Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel’s new title. This series has been consistently excellent so far, and if you haven’t picked it up at all yet, do! It’s a real back-to-basics approach to the character, but one with more depth than you’d expect, written with a real flair and an endearing sense of humour. This is all to say nothing of Coipel’s absolutely gorgeous artwork, backed up with some outstanding work by gifted colourist Laura Martin, whose rendering and colour scheme has really helped cement the series’ rich visual quality.

It’s this quality which is mimicked to good effect in the mythologically-charged Thor: Ages Of Thunder, the week’s other showcase for the Odinson. This is the first in a series of one-shots written by Casanova creator and Immortal Iron Fist co-writer Matt Fraction. The series plans to flesh out Marvel’s thunder god character by resetting the character’s history against traditional myth. It’s a nicely done romp and full of dangerous liaisons, royal rivalries and frost giants, and a nice diversion in the wait for the next issue of the regular series.

If those picks weren’t enough, there’s an almost ridiculous number of tempting trades on offer this week as well! We’ve got The Definitive Queen & Country Vol 2! We’ve got Mike Allred’s edition of Modern Masters! We’ve got BPRD Vol 8: Killing Ground, Tales Of The Fear Agent and X-Men: Messiah Complex in hardcover. However, you know all about those already. I’m here to talk to you today about Princess at Midnight. No, wait, come back! Regular readers of this column will know that we here at Gosh were great advocates of Andi Watson’s most recent series, Glister, and for all intents and purposes, this is its spiritual precursor, reprinted for the first time and expanded in a new edition, all for just £4. The plot revolves around a young girl who spends her days languishing in home-schooling boredom, and spends her nights as the warlord princess of Castle Waxing, leading her people against the Horrible Horde. Sounds cool, right? Well, a certain kind of cool, anyway.

We’ve also recently received the fourth volume of Hank Ketcham’s Complete Dennis the Menace collections, along with the second box set, of volumes three and four. Don’t be mistaken, this isn’t the hero of the Beano, this is the serendipitously synchronous scallywag spawned in America, and there’s some pretty incredible stuff in there. While the gags are firmly in the ‘inoffensive’ category, the artwork communicates clarity of line and ease of brushwork that’s still impressive today, and needs to be seen to be believed.

The news comes in dribs and drabs this week, starting with word that Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro is going to be helming the long-delayed Hobbit film. Or rather, films. The film’s going to come out in two segments, both directed by Del Toro and executive produced (whatever that means) by Lord of the Rings maestro Peter Jackson.

If you thought to yourself ‘that was quite nerdy, that news there’, then hold onto your pocket protector for this one, as DC has revealed that – ahem – fan favourite character Power Girl is soon to be starring in her own series debuting later this year. It’s going to be written by Jimmy Palmiotti and drawn by Amanda Conner, meaning that not only will it look nice, but it’ll have a female creator’s name on it. This, of course, will totally absolve it of any offences it might potentially be seen to be committing.

Now for a corner of the news roundup that I myself am very excited about: Aaron-watch! Scalped creator Jason Aaron is a hurricane of comics writing, and he’s proving it once again with his recently announced two-issue stint on Hellblazer. The two issues, #245 and #246 will both have art provided by Sean Murphy, and will revolve around Constantine’s time in Newcastle as frontman of punk band Mucous Membrane. Aaron’s other new upcoming run is writing issues #39-41 of Black Panther, a gig apparently garnered from his work on Vertigo series The Other Side. What’s the connection? Well, these issues are the Black Panther Secret Invasion tie-ins, and they will apparently take the form of a land war between Black Panther’s subjects and the invading Skrull forces. The fur’s going to fly, starting in July.

But Tom, you ask, what was with that teasing Sam and Max image you posted yesterday that everybody noticed? Well, it was all a ruse, a cunning ruse to build excitement for today’s great big Telltale Games giveaway! We’ve got download codes for the brand new season of Sam and Max computer games courtesy of our very generous friends at Telltale Games. These games are chock full of fun, gags and personality, and carry on the proud tradition of Purcellian humour established in the series. But enough of the hard sell, you all want to know how you can win this phenomenal prize! All you have to do is answer the following question:

Who was singled out, both in the first comic book issue and the animated series, as the Freelance Police’s greatest enemy? Clue: he was described by Max as ‘warm and squishy’.

If you think you know the correct answer, just comment on this post on our blog. If you can’t sign in to a personal account, you can comment anonymously – but don’t forget to leave your name in the comment itself! We’ve got one grand prize of the complete second season of games and three runner-up prizes of the first episode, Ice Station Santa. Please note that the judge’s decision is final. Good luck!

And finally, just a reminder that due to next week’s sure-to-shine bank holiday Monday, the next delivery will arrive a day late, on Friday, May 9th.

- Tom


Chris Hunt said...

Complete stab in the dark but is it Sam

Chris Hunt

benlefoe said...

Is it Santa Claus?

BatFreak said...

Is it Mack Salmon?

Anonymous said...

It's Mack Salmon alright!

Chris Hunt said...

Can I change my answer to Mack Salmon? :P

Gosh! said...

Congratulations batfreak! It is indeed Mack Salmon and you are now the proud recipient of the complete Sam & Max Season Two bundle. Congratulations too, to Kerry & Chris, who each win a passcode for Episode One. But we've still got one to go, so come on folks! You've got the answer, so comment while you can!

batfreak & Chris, can you please send us your email address so we can let Telltale Games know where to send the passcodes! said...

Mack Salmon! :D

Gosh! said...

Well done Jordy, you get the final prize! Telltale Games should be in touch with all our prize winners very shortly.

Anonymous said...

Eeeeeeeee thank you!

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