Joe Keatinge and Sophie Campbell’s Glory Volume 2 Review by Eugene Alejandro

Glory Volume 2: War Torn which collects issues #29-#34 is a good continuation of Glory Volume 1: The Once and Future Destroyer, and is a brilliant conclusion to Joe Keatinge and Sophie Campbell’s whole run on Glory.

The reason why this Glory series only lasted for 12 issues (#23-34) is because it sadly didn’t sell well enough to keep going on. It does have a really good and surprising ending though (I won’t spoil the ending because I really want you to read this series).

The plot of Glory Volume 2: War Torn is that It’s discovered that Glory has a little sister named Nanaja. Nanaja hates Glory because she left to Earth many years ago. Nanaja decides to go to Earth in order to find Glory. Glory and Nanaja come face to face, and they begin fighting each other to a bloody pulp. They both recover from fighting each other and decide to put their difference’s aside so that they can stop their father Lord Silverfall from taking over the Earth. Glory, Nanaja, Riley Barnes, and the rest of Glory’s team find Lord Silverfall. But before they can stop his goal, he explains that he really doesn’t want to take over the Earth. The only reason why he did what he had to do was because he wanted to protect his family from a giant space monster called The Knight. Glory and the gang understand the situation and decide to help Lord Silverfall stop The Knight from destroying Earth.

With this volume being the last story of the entire series, Joe Keatinge does a fantastic job at ending his and Sophie Campbell’s run on the character of Glory.

Sophie Campbell’s artwork is still spectacular as we get to see her draw not only Glory and the supporting characters, but she also draws almost every other character that Rob Liefeld created.

The list includes Supreme, Suprema, Avengelyne, Diehard, Blue Shaft, Cabbot, Chapel, New Shogun, Red Shaft, Lethal, New Deadlock, Cougar, Sea Hawk, Battlestone, New Fourplay, New Tag, Even Newer Fourplay, Brahma, Doc Rocket, Byrd, Stass, Johnny Panic, Sharpsmooth, Seoul, Combat, Bloodwulf, Rubble, Psilence, Exit, Kodak, Wylder, Dash, Badbear, Kaya, Twilight, Troll, Dash, Thermal, Vogue, Badrock, Photon, Big Brother, Kaboom, Masada, Rein East, Coldsnap, and Riptide 5000.

I forgot to mention this in my previous review of the first volume of Joe Keatinge’s Glory, which is that even though it’s a phenomenal comic, it contains high amounts of graphic violence to which it’s not suitable for all ages.

Glory Volume 2: War Torn is an excellent conclusion to Joe Keatinge and Sophie Campbell’s Glory Run, and the series as a whole is a good example of how to re-define a character. 

I give Glory Volume 2: War Torn 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Advertisements

Devilman Manga Review by Eugene Alejandro

Devilman is a true masterpiece of manga literature, and it’s one of the greatest manga that I have ever read in my life.

Being a huge fan of Go Nagai, I consider Devilman to be his best manga ever. The reason why I love the story of Devilman so much is because of how complex, ambitious, and metaphorical it is.

The art is also amazing and even though this manga was made in the 1970’s, the artwork still holds up.

The plot of Devilman is about a teenage boy named Akira Fudo who merges with a powerful demon named Amon which causes him to become none other than Devilman. Now that Akira Fudo has the powers of Amon, he must protect those he loves, and humanity from the demons that want to destroy the entire human race. What makes Devilman an awesome manga is that it’s not your typical superhero horror story at all. Instead, it’s a anti-war story. Allow me to explain.

The reason why Devilman is a work of anti-war is when Go Nagai himself said “There is no justice in war, any war. Nor is there any justification for human beings killing one another. Devilman carries a message of warning, as we step toward a bright future.” In order to help show this, Devilman has lot’s of symbolism that relates to war, and why war is bad. An example is when the story shows that demons have the ability to merge with humans (this is symbolic to people being drafted), and the death of a supporting character happened in order to symbolize the end of peace. While these are the two main examples for why Devilman is a work of anti-war, I was able to find more examples of it being an anti-war story.

Devilman volume 2 is the debut of Sirene, a bird demon that’s bent on killing Akira Fudo in the hopes of bringing back her lover Amon. I saw this as symbolism because it shows the idea of someone trying to free their friend, family member, or lover from the draft as Amon being merged with Akira Fudo is symbolic to someone being drafted, and for Sirene to want to kill Akira Fudo in order to bring back Amon is perfect symbolism of trying to free someone from the draft. Akira evens feels pity for her as he understood why she wanted to kill him.

In Devilman volume 3, the turtle demon Jinmen appears. Jinmen has a ability to have the faces of his victims grow on his shell after he’s eaten them in order to gain satisfaction from their pain and suffering. Akira Fudo transforms into Devilman in order to fight Jinmen, but it turns out to be a difficult fight because Akira is trying his best not to kill the faces that are on Jinmens shell. Jinmen even taunts Akira about his victims as a way to manipulate Akira’s emotions. Akira Fudo soon gains to courage to kill Jinmen by tearing off his shell, but ends up also killing the people that Jinmen ate in the process. This results in Akira living with guilt after the battle.

The reason why this is another example of Devilman being a story that’s anti-war is because the faces of the victims on Jinmens shell are meant to symbolize the suffering of innocent war prisoners, and them dying along with Jinmen also symbolizes innocents of people being killed during a war. For Akira Fudo to feel guilty after his fight with Jinmen because he also killed the victims that were on Jinmens shell is a metaphor for when soldiers go through psychological torment when they kill people (especially when they are forced to kill innocent people).

As for the ending of Devilman, I really do not want to spoil it, but I am certain that lot’s of people will have different opinions on it. As for me, it’s a good ending because it helps establish the anti-war message very well. The story also doesn’t pander about it being anti-war (which is a good thing because it allows the story to be fun, interesting, entertaining, and engaging).

What also makes Devilman a great manga is how much of an impact it had on Japanese culture. Without Devilman, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Berserk, Hellsing, Parasyte, and Bastard would not exist, and the way manga’s and anime’s are now wouldn’t be possible.

Go Nagai created Devilman because he wanted to show the world why war is awful, and Devilman truly succeeds in showing that message without it being pandering about it.

Devilman is not for everyone though because it contains gore, nudity, and religious themes which means it can only be read by a mature audience.

The Devilman manga has also not been officially licensed in English. It can only be read in English by going to scanalation sites, and it’s 5 volumes long (update about that actually. Seven Seas Entertainment got the license to publish this Manga in English for the USA. This review was made prior to that).

Overall, Go Nagai’s Devilman is truly a work of art, and is a manga that deserves to be read by everyone and remembered forever. 

I give the Devilman manga 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Joe Keatinge and Sophie Campbell’s Glory Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

Joe Keatinge and Sophie Campbell’s run on Glory which is published by Image Comics is a perfect example of how to re-define a character.

For those that don’t know, Glory is a character that was created by none other than Rob Liefeld (one of the founders of Image Comics) during the 1990’s. In 2011-2012, Rob Liefeld came back to Image Comics for a somewhat “Extreme Studios” revival where he brought back his creator-owned properties to the company. He even allowed other creative teams to work on some of those properties. The Glory revival (which I will be reviewing right now) was written by Joe Keatinge, with artwork by Sophie Campbell (who back then, went by the name of Ross Campbell).

Glory Volume 1: The Once and Future Destroyer is a very good beginning for Joe Keatinge and Sophie Campbell’s work on the character as it does a fantastic job of changing the character’s appearance and origin in a very good way.

Your probably asking “What’s the big difference between Joe Keatinge’s version of Glory, and Rob Liefeld’s verison of Glory?” The answer is simple. Rob Liefeld’s Glory had a super model appearance, and was the offspring of an Amazon, and a Demon. Joe Keatinge’s Glory has the appearance of a very tall and muscular albino whose skin is covered in battle scars, and while her origin of being an offspring between a Demon and an Amazon is the same as Liefeld’s version of the character, Joe Keatinge added a twist to it. The Demons and Amazons are Aliens, thus making Glory herself an Alien.

The plot of Glory Volume 1 is that long time fan of Glory Riley Barnes is invited to a french island where she finds Glory after many years of not being seen. The reason why Glory is in hiding is because her father Lord Silverfall wants her dead. Riley is then recruited to help Glory stop her father, but Riley soon discovers that Glory may not be trusted.

What makes this version of Glory so unique is how much effort Joe Keatinge put into a character that he never created by making great changes to her story. Sophie Campbell’s artwork for this series is great and helps with Glory’s new appearance.

Another thing to let you know is that when this new Glory series first came out, it continued the numbering from the old Glory series (which was 22 issues long). Meaning that this Glory series starts with #23. Which is why I recommend reading the collected editions because those are properly numbered, and make it easy for people to read the new series without having to worry about reading the old series.

Glory Volume 1: The Once and Future Destroyer collects the first six issues of the new Glory series which is #23-#28.

Joe Keatinge and Sophie Campbell’s run on Glory is a brilliant example of how to re-define a Rob Liefeld character, and is an awesome comic that should never be ignored.

I give Glory Volume 1 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 Review by Eugene Alejandro

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 published by IDW starts off from Volume 2’s ending as we see Titanosaurus, Gezora, and Manda attacking a fleet of ships on the ocean (one of them has the Kaiju Watchers on it). Godzilla then appears out from the water, and begins to fight Gezora, Manda, and Titanosaurus. While this is happening, one of the members of the Kaiju Watchers Lucy Casprell, ends up falling from the ship that she and the rest of the Kaiju Watchers were on, and washes up on Infant Island where she meets the Shobijin. The Shobijin allow her to be welcomed to the Island, and show her cave drawings that are meant to foreshadow a prophecy.

The drawings in the cave show Kaiju’s such as Gorosaurus, King Caesar, Mothra, Megaguirus, Varan, Megalon, Battra, Baragon, Ebirah, Manda, Kamacuras, Kumonga, Gezora, Titanosaurus, Kamoebas, and Anguirus. The Shobijin explain that there will be a monster that will try to destroy the world, but one will try to save the world. The reason why all of this is in the story is because it’s meant to set up a big major event that will happen in the story’s future. Afterwords, Lucy Casprell is given a necklace from the Shobijin, and is teleported out of Infant Island, and ends up waking up on a life boat.

After that, Godzilla is seen chasing after the Gargantuas Gaira and Sanda in the ocean, and all 3 of them end up in Australia. Sanda and Gaira then proceed to fight Godzilla. Steven Woods and the CKR (Counter-Kaiju Reaction forces) then show up to stop all 3 of them from fighting in order to save Australia from destruction. Gaira get’s knocked out by Godzilla’s tail, Sanda manages to hurt Godzilla, and Godzilla then retreats to the ocean. Steven Woods calls for two helicopters with nets so that they can take Sanda and Gaira to Monster Island. 

Afterwords, a Devonian shows up to a bunch of fisherman, and warns them about the Devonians plan. After that, Baragon appears from the grounds of Paris, but Kiryu (The Millennium Era MechaGodzilla) then appears in order to take Baragon to Monster Island. Baragon uses his fire breath to attack Kiryu, but Kiryu has the upper hand and knocks Baragon unconscious, and takes him to Monster Island. A character named Dr. Allison speaks with the Devonian that is on the humans side so that he can get answers.

The Devonian explains to him that the Devonians are going to use Manda, Titanosaurus, Gezora, and Destroyah to destroy humanity because the Devonians see that the humans are polluting the ocean. Godzilla is later seen in the pacific ocean, and his ambushed by Destroyah, Titanosaurus, Manda, and Gezora. The government has submarines use sound waves to lure all 4 monsters into the main Devonian base so that they can destroy the base, and the monsters at the same time. The sound waves however, cause Destroyah to split into multiple aggregate versions of himself, and attack the ship that Steven Woods, and Kaiju Watchers are currently on.

The people on the ship are able to fight off the aggregate Destroyah’s, but they retreat back to the ocean so that they can form back to Destroyah’s final form. Before Destroyah can destroy the ship, Jet Jaguar appears and fights Destroyah. Jet Jaguar decides to shrink to human size so that he can pilot Kiryu that’s on the ship. Jet Jaguar get’s Kiryu working, and activates Kiryu’s Absolute Zero Cannon to freeze and destroy Destroyah. Afterwords, Jet Jaguar goes into the ocean to try to save Godzilla from being buried in the ocean grounds by the missiles that were launched to destroy the monsters and the Devonian base. And not to spoil the ending, the ending does a phenomenal job at setting up the events and will happen in Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 4, and future stories to come.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 collects issues #9-#12 and is another really good addition to the series. Chris Mowry’s writing continues to be spectacular as ever, and the story his helped by the awesome artwork by Jeff Zornow and Matt Frank.

As I said earlier, the ending for Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 is a brilliant way to get people anticipated for Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 4 so that they can see what happened after the events of Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3.

It’s also really cool to see The Gargantuas Gaira and Sanda officially fighting Godzilla for the very first time. If your a fan of comics, Godzilla, or both, and have read and enjoyed the previous 2 volumes of Godzilla: Rulers Or Earth, you will not be disappointed with Volume 3. 

I give Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 3 Two Thumbs Up, and 5/5 Stars.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 2 Review by Eugene Alejandro

IDW’s Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 2 collects issues 5-8 and is a good follow up to the first Volume. 

The story starts off where Volume 1 left off as we see the Kaiju Watchers being chased by Varan in China. Before Varan can get to them, he is suddenly attack by Rodan, and the two begin fighting. While they’re fighting, the Kaiju Watchers go to a Chinese military base for safety. One of the members however, ends up discovering that the Chinese military base contains the green Gargantua Gaira for scientific research.

Varan and Rodan end up crashing into the military base, and the member of the Kaiju Watchers that found Gaira decides to release him in order to fend off both Kaiju. Rodan retreats, and Varan ends up fighting Gaira. Varan then decides to fly away, but Gaira grabs Varans tail as he flies. The brown Gargantua Sanda then appears trying to reach out to Gaira but to no avail. The Kaiju Watchers then arrive at an airport so that they can keep searching for Godzilla.

Afterwords, Godzilla shows up in Las Vegas to fight the upgraded Gigan which is the design Gigan had in Godzilla: Final Wars. Gigan has the upper hand until the CKR (Counter Kaiju Reaction forces) calls for Moguera to defeat Gigan. But before Moguera showed up, Gigan was able to knock Godzilla conscious which gave the Cryog the opportunity to use one of their aircraft’s to absorb Godzilla. The aircraft ends up exploding revealing Orga. Godzilla is able to recover, but he now has to face both Gigan and Orga.

Orga was able to easily defeat Moguera which now makes Godzilla outnumbered. But before all hope seems lost, Jet Jaguar shows up to help Godzilla defeat both Gigan, and Orga. Orga is defeated by Jet Jaguar and the Cyrog try to recover the remains of Orga, but at the same time, they end up abducting two members of the CKR. Both Godzilla and Jet Jaguar succeed in defeating Gigan, but Godzilla (still unaware that Jet Jaguar is suppose to be his ally) ends up attacking Jet Jaguar. This leaves Jet Jaguar no choice but to knock Godzilla unconscious, and throw him into the ocean.

The Cryog then discover the two CKR members that are inside their ship and decide to eliminate them. But before the Cryog can finish off the CKR members, Jet Jaguar shows up and saves the two CKR members. Afterwords, the Cryog ask the Devonians for help, but the Devonians refuse because they’ve figured out that the Cyrog are planning on betraying them. The Devonians summon Biollante to destroy the Cryog, but Godzilla shows up and ends up fighting Biollante which allows the Cryog to flee.

While Godzilla and Biollante are fighting each other, Biollante has the upper hand. Godzilla decides to use his Atomic Breath to cause the Volcano on the island both him and Biollante are on to erupt so that he can throw Biollante into the Lava which ends Biollante’s life. After that, The Kaiju Watchers are on a ship trying to look for Godzilla, and 3 Kaiju Manda, Titanosaurus, and Gezora appear from the ocean right in front of them ending Volume 2 of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth.

Just like in the first Volume, Chris Mowry’s writing is very solid. It’s also very cool to see Gaira and Sanda in something Godzilla related (especially since they’ve never been in any other Godzilla media in the past).

Matt Franks artwork also continuous to be spot on. Issue 5 is drawn entirely by Jeff Zornow and his art is spectacular (especially the way he draws Rodan).

The ending is a very great lead in to Volume 3 as it gets the readers anticipated to see the story continue.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 2 is a good follow up to Volume 1, and is perfect for any Godzilla fan. 

I give Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 2 5/5 Stars, and 2 Thumbs up.

Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

With me being such a big fan of both Godzilla and Comic Books, I can certainly say that IDW’s Godzilla: Rulers of Earth is one of the greatest Comics ever made. Volume 1 collects the first 4 issues and is a brilliant introduction to the series as it allows the readers to be well immersed in both the story and characters it has to offer.

The story in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 is that giant monsters (also known as Kaiju) have been appearing all around the world and everyone wants to know why. In order to combat the threat of the Kaiju, it’s up to the CKR (Counter-Kaiju Reaction forces) to keep the Kaiju at bay. At the same time, a scientific research group called the Kaiju Watchers are trying to find the answer as to why the Kaiju are appearing. As the story progresses, it’s revealed that two alien forces called the Cryog, and the Devonians are planning on taking over the Earth by using their own Kaiju to destroy all the humans.

Chris Mowry’s writing is perfect as it allows the story to have a very good pace, lot’s of awesome Kaiju action, and great foreshadowing. The human and aliens characters also help with the story as they add depth to the plot without being a distraction.

The artwork by Matt Frank is brilliant and is perfect for this series because it allows the humans, aliens, and the Kaiju to look brilliant. One of the best parts of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 is when Godzilla fights none other than Zilla in Hawaii. It’s definitely a great homage to when Godzilla fought Zilla in Godzilla: Final Wars from 2004. Matt Franks art also helps make the scene look even more awesome than it already is.

As I mentioned earlier, Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 has great foreshadowing. A perfect example is in the beginning when Gigan rises from the Grand Canyon in Arizona and is attacked by Kumonga. The Cryog see this and it gives them the idea that Gigan must be upgraded. After the battle between Gigan and Kumonga, Gigan is summoned to the Cryog base for upgrades and is not seen again until Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 2. The next example is when Zilla retreats from his battle with Godzilla. He’s not seen again and this is meant to show that Zilla will return at some point in the series. The final battle in Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 is when Godzilla and Mothra team up and fight Destroyah. It’s a great fight to see and is very well written and well drawn.

The ending where the Kaiju Watchers are in China and end up encountering Varan is brilliant set up for Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 2. The ending is drawn by Jeff Zornow, and he does a very good job at drawing both the humans and Varan. What I also liked was how Chris Mowry was able to give Kumonga a small but very important role in the story as without his appearance and him fighting Gigan, the part of the story in which the Cryog decide that Gigan should be upgraded couldn’t happen.

So overall, Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 is a brilliant comic to read and a great beginning for the entire series.

I give Godzilla: Rulers of Earth Volume 1 Two Thumbs Up, and 5/5 Stars.