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Showing posts from January, 2021

Retrospective: Barbarella (1962)

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"Your hardware and my software interface perfectly!" ... so says travelling space adventurer Barbarella after making love to a robot in the original 1962 comic strip. That's after dallying with several men, women and an angel... If you are familiar with the movie adaptation staring Jane Fonda in 1968 you will already know the tone: camp titillating high jinks bordering on soft porn. The titular heroine is a sexy young hedonistic astronaut who finds herself tumbling into one compromising situation after another, invariably losing most or all of her clothing in the process. Sexploitation? Perhaps a little, but the lewedness here is too mild to be offensive, certainly by today's standards. Barbarella is an object of desire, yes, but she is also a fully autonomous agent, not a vacant bimbo. What we have here is an embodiment of 1960s sexual liberation ('free love' as a personal and political statement against a conventional Western society that frowned upon any

Review: Genma Visage

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The Floating Worlds of Shuromij in the asteroid belt are home to the Shurokiu (humanoids with reptilian ancestry). On one of these worlds, in the Tower of Silence, Governor Scorpius is conducting psychic experiments... This is BAD news. Thousands of years ago the order Nishin Genma used the same technology to cause mutations that created super warriors. These enhanced soldiers take on a dragon-like form resembling the reptilian creature called Hydra from which the Shurokiu race evolved. This fearsome aspect is the titular Genma Visage.  Attempting to harness such power is not without consequences, however. It opens doorways to other dimensions, allowing the arrival of Youkai demons which have plagued the universe ever since the first experiments.  The latest work by Scorpius to tap into this power threatens not only Shuromij but also the people of planet Earth...  Genma Visage is the creation of UK writer and artist Thomas Tuke, a series he started in 2007 that now spans several volume

Review: Akolyte

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  "Let your past fuel your future."  In a distant star system a small, nondescript spaceship sets down on a barren, nameless moon. The pilot is King Khalon, "a stranger from the stars".  The passenger is Demtri Price from Sapphire City, Earth. The two men met two years earlier, when Demetri agreed to join Khalon on a quest to unlock Demetri's destiny...  During that time, Khalon has been Demetri's tutor, training him in combat. Upon reaching their destination, the king tells the Earthman to take a moonwalk in order to enter the next stage of his journey of self-discovery.  Our hero meets a mysterious towering blue humanoid who reveals that Demetri has an awesome cosmic power locked within him. A power that is now to be unleashed...  Akolyte  by writer Lonzo Starr and artists Opi Hidayat, Michael Woods and Bruno Lima is an Afrofuturist sci-fi superhero tale with strong mythical/spiritual elements. Here we have the old 'average dude doesn't know he'

Review: Andy Starboy

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Andy Gonzalez can fly, which is pretty cool for a Mexican teenager. He's also green and looks like he fell out of a UFO...  There's a reason for that. In this version of history the flying saucer crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 was just the beginning of a series of spacecraft impacts over the decades. All of the ships were unoccupied. Humanity has benefitted from reverse-engineering the alien technology, but there was also a downside...  Radiation from the ships caused people nearby to mutate. Some of these "nu-breeds" like Andy, have super powers. The radiation also mutated wild animals, some of which became very dangerous, such as the giant lizard we see Andy battling in the opening sequence (a nice little nod to the Godzilla legend).  This is not just a tale of great responsibility coming with great power, however. Andy is the star of his own reality show in which he basically shows off his fighting skills against the monstrosities that now stalk the Earth. 

Retrospective: Transmetropolitan

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Enjoying this? You like the way I describe disgusting shit happening to people you probably walked past in the street last week? Good. Your earned it. With your silence. Spider Jerusalem is a journalist. He's also a very angry person who indulges heavily in recreational drugs, habitually assaults people who annoy him and generally makes it his mission to tell people things they really don't want to hear. A die-hard cynic with no respect for authority or social niceties, he tears through anything and anyone in his way to get a story. He has plenty to vent about. His dystopian city is a hotbed of corruption, neglect, exploitation and poverty with rotten politicians, soulless transhumanist cults and a populace pacified by apathy and sociopathic perversity (Anyone for a tasty cloned human flesh burger?)... It's Western decadence to the n th degree. We join Spider as he is forced to come out of his drug-soaked hiatus out in the bondooks in order to fulfil a book deal (the advan