Book Review: Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill

Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill is a great person at the wrong place and wrong time revenge thriller, with an added supernatural element. This graphic novel is bloody, gory, funny , and thrilling. The mystery of why the victims are chosen is captivating, as our hero finds out every one who is involved in this murder plot or is it all about the money. The element that makes it interesting is the murder weapon, an axe, holds a power that no matter what is severed the person can live and speak, there’s a lot of decapitations where people keep talking at first it is horrific, but then it turns humorous. Hill who is known for horror delivers a slasher like no other, I would love to see this adapted into a movie or series, there’s lots to expand on. Basketful of Heads graphic novel collects Basketful of Heads issues 1-7 from Hill House Comics and off shoot of DC comics Black Label.

The Plot: June is visiting her boyfriend Liam, who got a summer job as a deputy in a small vacation island, called Brody Island. It’s Liam’s last day on the job, He meets June on the bridge after he finished his last shift. Liam and June are all set to leave the island as a prison break happens and four inmates escape, Liam is eager to help out. The sheriff says he’s got it and tells him to go up to the house to have a meal with the family, and he will join them soon. Liam and June end up eating with the wife and their collage aged son, and take a tour of the house with the sheriffs medieval weapons collection , the winds start picking up, with an incoming tropical storm, the wife gets a phone call and must help out a neighbor, her son takes her, and Liam and June stay at the house. The escapee’s come to the house Liam hides June and goes to take care of the situation. June hears Liam scream but stays hidden she moves later and is confronted, June takes the only weapon she can find a Viking Axe. She defends herself as the guy attacking loses his head, but instead of dying the head keeps talking. She needs to find her boyfriend, she has a talking severed head and an axe with supernatural powers to do it.

What I Liked: The losing head puns do not get old. I loved the mix of horror with comedy. The art took a little getting used to, I did like the art in day light but loved the art at nighttime, where much of the story takes place. I liked the mystery of why Liam was taken and who is involved. June is a pretty cool character, the perfect final girl. The writing is good the story telling goes full circle, and it is a beautiful thing. I like the myth that is behind the Axe. The two end scenes were amazing, and worked for the story.

What I Disliked: The ending was too rushed, the fight was over too quick and I wanted more explanation and motive.

Recommendations: If your fan of Joe Hill this will only make you love him more. I have read all his novels and short story collections, and almost all of his graphic novels. I’m a super fan and man is this graphic novel great. If you like horror you will like this, if you like thrillers you will like this, and if you like black comedy you will like this. I rated Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 by Stan Lee

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 by Stan Lee continues the early years of Spiderman. Spiderman will is introduced to some of his greatest villains Mysterio, Green Goblin, and Karaven the Hunter, and the Sinister Six will meet for the first time. We get deep into Peter Parker’s love life, and Spiderman constantly messing it up. We get the entire marvel line up to cameo in these issues of Spiderman; they are Hulk, Ironman, Captain America, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Thor, The Fantastic Four, Antman, and Wasp. The book has challenging storylines that question manhood and doing what is right instead of what you want to do. This book has the first death, it’s a minor character but still kind of shocking. This Graphic Novel collects The Amazing Spider-Man 11-19 and annual 1.

The Plots: Spiderman by Doc Ock unmasked and revealed to be Peter Parker but he got the spider sickness and lost power temporally, everybody thought he was stupid and brave. Spiderman gets lured into being a movie star by the Green Goblin but the action scenes are real. The Green Goblin makes Spiderman run away, and think about giving up being Spiderman. Kraven the Hunter wants to hunt the most dangerous game; Spiderman! J. Jonah Jameson’s envy of Spiderman tarts taking a toll and will lea to him accidentally creating the Scorpion soon. Liz Allen, Peter Parker’s high school crush, is finally starting to see the man he is becoming, but he’s already moved on to J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary Betty Brandt, it creates an interesting love triangle, with Liz Allen’s on again/off again boyfriend Flash Thompson in the mix.

What I Liked: the drawing is better Jack Kirby is the creator of the character but Steve Ditko has perfected it and gave us lots of the iconic Spiderman looks. The Daredevil was the best cameo, as he has to fight a possessed Spiderman. The birth of the Green Goblin Spiderman’s most fearsome foe, the introduction story is pretty lame but the second was a lot of fun. The Green Goblin is the only villain who identity remains unknown, so far. The Sinister Six is a lot of fun six bad guys to get through, in an extended 48 page story. we do see the beginnings of the budding romance between Aunt May and Doc Ock who she is instantly charmed by. I enjoyed the one comic where Spiderman thinks about hanging it up, it is a bold move to have no fighting and running away, as it looks at the psychological toll being Spiderman puts on Peter Parker.

What I Disliked: I said it last time and I will say it again the Enforcers who are in 3 issues, they are kind of lame. The first Green Goblin story just doesn’t make sense in motivation and story.

Recommendations: These issues have every marvel hero of note in them the writing and action are fun. The origin stories are villains are still being used, in the movies. Kraven the Hunter and Chameleon are the only villains of note not in the movies, But I think Kraven is coming. I enjoy reading things from the beginning a love finding out more about the character of Spiderman. I rated Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2 by Stan Lee 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spiderman Volume 1 by Stan Lee

Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 1 by Stan Lee is the birth of Spiderman as we know and love him. This is where we learn that “with great powers must also come with great responsibility”. This graphic novel contains Amazing Fantasy 15 and The Amazing Spider-Man 1-10. We get to see the origin stories for Spiderman’s greatest foes, like Electro, Doctor Octopus, The Vulture, The Lizard and Sandman, all goes that have been featured in various Spider-Man movies. Doctor Octopus and Sandman are the only origin stories that are the same as in the screen. We get multiple cameos of the Fantastic Four, with Spiderman trying to join them. Spiderman battles Dr. Doom and throw away villains the Enforcers and the Living Brain. We get glimpses of Peter Parker’s love life, home life, and work life. The Amazing Spider-Man comics reminded me of Archie comics with action. Peter’s love life is funny and his handling of bully Flash Thompson, who just happens to me Spiderman’s biggest fan. I’m read this as a bonus to find out which new Spiderman villain will show up in the next Spiderman movie.

The Plot: We meet Peter Parker as a nerdy teenager who has a love of science and no muscles. Gets bitten by a radioactive spider, which gives him special powers, with abilities of a spider. He tried to cash in and ends up fighting for money. He is no crime fighter and watches as a burglar escapes, saying that is not his problem. The burglar who he let go ends up killing his Uncle Ben, and he vows to do good, and becomes Spiderman. He makes New York safe from burglars and costumed foes.

What I Liked: The bully relationship with Flash Thompson and Peter Parker, it is one of the best things in these issues. I love how, it’s a competition between the two for Liz Allen, but when Peter trying to lure out the head of the crime syndicate, Flash tries to hush him for Peter’s protection. I love J. Jonah Jamison’s reason for hating Spiderman, because he’s envious. I liked the love life and all the ups and downs. I liked how serialized the early issues were the bad guys were bashing the month, but the relationships keep forming and getting stronger. My favorite villain was Doctor Octopus and I loved his origin story, not a bad guy but the arms fixed to his body making him insane.

What I Disliked: Every time Peter Parker wears glasses, the way it was drawn looks so awkward. They have a bonus story where Spiderman invites himself to a Torch of the Fantastic Four’s girlfriends house and he acts like a complete jerk, and kind of deserves the beating the Fantastic Four give him.

Recommendations: I think everybody should read about how Spiderman was created. I got this graphic novel for the insane price of 99 cents on kindle thanks to a Christmas deal, I was well worth it. I have always been a fan and have wanted to read some of his landmark moments. I rated Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man volume 1 by Stan “the man” Lee 5 out of 5 stars. I will be reading a lot more Marvel Masterworks I bought a lot when Amazon had the sale.

Book Review: Batman: Three Jokers

Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns is a what if question? what if Batman’s most deadly foe The Joker was not one man but three? The Joker has had a couple of different origin stories, where he was A gangster before he fell in a vat, a failed comedian, and a deranged clown, and in those stories the Joker has done a lot of things to Batman and his family. The criminal Joker was said to have given the order to kill the Wayne family, the Clown Joker beat Jason Todd to the edge of death when he was Robin, and Batgirl was paralyzed by the Comedian Joker. All of the past and present come back to haunt Batman and his family. The writing was just okay I have only been familiar with Geoff Johns’ excellent Aquaman run in the new 52, which was great at first then started tanking, the premise for this comic is excellent, but in my hype and expectations were maybe a tad bit high, because i was left feeling underwhelmed. There some great moments but it could have been better. Batman: Three Jokers collects issues 1-3 of Batman: Three Jokers.

All The covers and variants

The Plot: With three origin stories out there in the DC universe which one is true? They all are there is three jokers The Comedian, the Criminal, and the Clown, and they are looking to make another one. Do they have their sights set on Jason Tood, The Red Hood, who was one a victim of Jokers crime’s, he now where a red hood and goes by the moniker of one of the Joker’s first gangs, or is someone else in mind.

What I Liked: he premise of taking these different origins and making some thing out of it was really clever I was instantly interested. The Jokers are referred to each other as the Criminal, the Comedian, and the Clown, but in trying to turn the batman family they refer to Batman as the Killer, Batgirl as the Broken , and Jason Todd as the Child. The artwork is really good I like all the throwback artistry to The Killing Joke storyline. The opening as Batman reflects on all the villains that have caused him scars, the Joker has done it three times, where every other rogue has done it once. I like how Joe Chill was involved in the story and what it meant for Batman.

What I Disliked: Batman’s reaction to the huge news that there is not one Joker but three with a meh. A member of the Bat family killer some one on purpose and Batman again is like meh what can I do, with barely any conversation on right and wrong. The story at times felt a little bit rushed and forced at times.

Recommendations: This story is a pretty weak mythos into the batman legacy, There’s one thing it adds and it’s not even about the Joker but about Joe Chill the original murderer of the Wayne family. I’m a huge fan of the Batman Joker legacy, if you’re like me, you are going to read the book anyway. This is a book for people that know the Joker origin and have read The Killing Joke and other Death in the Family storylines. If you want to read a graphic novel that nails the complex relationship of Batman and the Joker check out Batman; White Knight by Sean Gordon Murphy. I rated Batman: Three Jokers by Geoff Johns 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Snow, Glass, Apples by Colleen Doran adapted from a Neil Gaiman short story

Snow, Glass, Apple’s by Colleen Doran adapted from a Neil Gaiman short story is a haunting adaptation of Snow White told in a graphic novel form. The story is told from the Stepmother’s perspective, notice I didn’t say evil stepmother. In this story it is flipped where the stepmother is good and loving, her stepdaughter is evil incarnate. The images are hauntingly beautiful and very graphic. The images leave a lasting impression with the mix of bold color with dark colors. The story had very little dialogue with most of the story delivered through narration. This story is a 17+ story that has violence and graphic sex depicted.

The Plot: It begins with love and lust towards the new queen and king, they have separate bedrooms and often make love. The queen starts to notice a change in the king and starts seeing him less and less. His daughter from a previous marriage is strange and quiet, the stepmother tries and thinks they have a moment as the girl loves apples. She bites the apple then bites her stepmother tasting her blood. The storm’s wound heals creating and interesting scar. She she’s the king again and tries to make love but the king is frail, when she undressed him she sees the same scar across his body. He dies and she sends a hunter to remove her heart, he does, and the stepmother puts the heart over her bed, but a strange thing happens as the heart doesn’t die but stay alive, as does her stepdaughter. It is up to the stepmother to kill her stepdaughter once and for all.

What I Liked: The imagery is stunning, even the horrific stuff you can not take your eyes off of. The creative way the story is told still having the same beats as the original, just twisted. That the Prince is attracted to still things. The dwarves and forest folk are cut throat bandits and thieves. I

What I Disliked: The graphic drawings went a little too far showing graphic pubic hair. I would have liked more dialogue between characters.

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of Neil Gaiman then you will get a very faithful adaptation of a 23 page short story turned into a 75 page graphic novel. If you are a fan of beautiful haunting artwork then you will be rewarded here. I rated Snow, Glass, Apples by Colleen Doran 4 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Harleen by Stjepan Sejic

Harleen by Stjepan Sejic was a fantastic Harley Quinn origin story. The approach was a romance novel gone wrong, and it works really well. Harleen managed to balance all four drama, action, romance, and comedy very evenly. The character of Harley generally wants to do good and help people, the Joker manipulates her feelings, but did she really change the Joker and make him care for him? Is the question, Batman and Alfred actually discuss it at the end. Harley does have layers to her character, and they are explored here. Harleen is written and drawn by Stjepan Sejic, with both done beautifully. The Joker and Harley have never loved better, the Joker is a little bit EMO which did take a second to get used to. Harleen is up for best graphic novel in Goodreads choice awards, and after reading it, it has my vote. Harleen collects 3 double issues of Harleen that was produced on DC Comics Black Label making it not part of continuity of the DC Universe.

The Plot: Harleen has just proposed a new study dealing with criminals lack of empathy if it can be restarted or is it gone forever. Harleen’s study will have her interview criminals and the police. She’s pretty sure it failed she has no career, and no love life. Her friend Shondra says it is in the stars that she will meet a tall dark and handsome man. Seconds later a police car slams into the side of the building chasing the Joker and goons who are well armed, on their escape they pass Harleen who shakes in fear, he puts a gun to her head, and gets into the vehicle, saying she’s going to dream about me. She watches as Batman stops him and beats him as the crowd cheers on. Harleen research is picked up by the Wayne foundation, and she starts with interviewing criminals, she purposefully avoids the Joker until she had to. The first interview he knows exactly where they met. She ask him, why didn’t you just shoot me that night? He says there are two response I love getting absolute terror and a genuine smile, I thought I would like to see her smile. This starts a romance that will change Harleen’s life.

What I Liked: The seriousness this novel takes, it shows how the reader could get charmed by this guy. I like that it shows their relationship as not being so one sided. The Joker will probably never admit it but he has feelings for her as well. I love the fantasy that Harleen has about the Joker with her as Alice and Joker as the Cheshire cat, all because she was reading the Mad Hatter’s case file. This book acknowledges the three Jokers storyline that just got explored a month ago. The romance was plausible and never went into cheesy. I liked the really colorful dream sequences. I liked the duality not between just Harley and the Joker, but Harleen and Harvey Dent, who both have similar storylines to how they tired to be good, but end up going bad. The finale was great super action packed and emotional. I like that we have a self aware Harley Quinn narrate her story of the past. My favorite quote was about the smile, but my second favorite quote was, I said I wanted to heal your scars but here I am adding some of my own.

What I Disliked: Luscious Fox looked to white for a black man, I didn’t even know it was him until he was introduced. Harleen making Batman back down was just an okay scene, but he’s the world’s greatest detective, and he can’t tell she has changed with her words and action.

Recommendations: Harleen is a great book that adds to the Harley Quinn mythos. The book has action, humor, romance, and drama. If you are like be fascinated by the Joker and Harley Quinn relationship then this book is for you. If your just a fan of comic book art work the panels in tis book are breath taking and enhance the words of the story. I rated Harleen by Stjepan Sejic 5 out of 5 stars. I was not familiar with Sejic work before this but will actively seek his work out.

Book Review: Batman: Curse of the White Knight by Sean Gordon Murphy

Batman: Curse of the White Knight by Sean Gordon Murphy is a hard look at what it takes to be a hero, and Batman himself asking if he helped contribute to crime. This is the sequel to the excellent Batman: White Knight where the Joker went sane and went after Batman as if he were the victim. The Joker is back to being the joker, but the things he called out were too good and could ruin crime sprees. The Joker has one more joke to pull the could blow up the Wayne legacy. The Curse of the White Knight continue its streak of being one of the best Batman stories. The story had a lot of twist and turns as it explores the birth of the Wayne dynasty and a current threat with an old score to settle. The writing will make you both laugh and almost cry. This story does take place in an alternative universe and not in the current DCU that gives the novel no limits as it is no-holds bar, with lots of shocking deaths. Batman: Curse of the White Knight collects issue 1-8 and a bonus Mr. Freeze origin story.

Plot: When the Joker took a pill to go sane he turned back into Jack Napier former mob member. Jack saw evil in Gotham and his name was Batman. Jack becomes a council member a and sets up the Napier Initiative which would have Batman be responsible for every damage he causes, and he would give tech and his vehicles to the police so they will eventually not need Batman. Batman has to look at the harsh truth that Napier is right. The pills are slowly killing Napier the only way he can live is if he lets the Joker take back over. With the Joker back in control he hates the Napier Initiative because it will mean no more Batman. The joker has been saving a Joke that will destroy everything and tarnish the Wayne legacy (Joker/Napier admitted they have know for some time he is Bruce Wayne). The Joker gets Azrael who is in on the joke having to do with his family legacy. Azrael will stop at nothing to kill or hurt those around him. Bruce has to search his families history to solve the mystery of the joke. Harley is able to bring Napier back for a few seconds as she reveals she is pregnant, he tells her the Joke will break Batman and the Wayne family.

What I Liked: The balance of drama, action and humor is great. The Action is really well done. The Joke is pretty world shattering for Batman and the Wayne legacy. Azrael who I haven’t seen in comics for quite sometime (since Knightfall and Knightquest arcs) returns with a vengeance. He ends up wearing the Knightquest Batman suit for when he took over as Batman. There’s a scene where Batman’s cave gets destroyed with all his Batmobiles except the Batmobile from the late 80’s one of my personal favorites. The Jokes, there’s a scene where Montoya and Bullock are taking over for an incapacitated Gordon, and Batman does his disappearing while speaking, and Bullock goes does he do that everytime, that must drive Gordon crazy. Another joke is Azrael breaks Joker out of Prison in the Batsuit from Knightquest, Joker says, “how did you get in here?” Azrael reveals the batsuit, “I’m Batman!” The Joker seems aghast, “that worked, they just let you in…”, he looks past Azrael to see a stream of bloody bodies. The pacing in this book i really good the set up for Joke takes a while as we flashback to the past, but the pay off was well worth it. I liked the subplot about the Joker wanting to kill one of Harley’s twins because one half is his and one half is Napier’s. The art is really well done, I’m very particular about faces but feel they were drawn really well.

What I Disliked: There’s a joke that was a callback to 1960’s Batman that landed horribly, and felt really awkward and forced. The Batman not killing plot line I felt let down. This series has analyzed aspect of Batman that I have not thought of before, and I felt the Batman doesn’t kill was glossed over. You as Batman do not want to kill the Joker, but you want to kill Azrael, who has a general grievance with you over past family stuff. I would have wanted more conversation for Bruce to have gotten there, to make it more believable.

Recommendation: This story is good, and one of the best that I have read. Sean Gordon Murphy is one of the better Batman writer’s I still think that Scott Snyder is the best but Sean Gordon Murphy is getting close. The cool thing about Sean Gordon Murphy is he is also the artist and makes sure what he wrote in the story matches his vision on the comic. If you are looking at a great Batman story that explores the psyche of Batman then this is you Batman story. I rated Batman: Curse of the White Knight by Sean Gordon Murphy 5 out of 5 stars. I also rated Batman: White Knight 5 out of 5 stars do yourself a favor and read these books. It is separate from the DC comics universe so it is pretty accessible.

Book Review: Suicide Squad Volume 1: Trial By Fire by John Ostrander and Kim Yale

Suicide Squad Volume 1: Trial By Fire by John Ostrander and Kim Yale is 80’s action Suicide Squad more influenced by the 80’s TV show the A-Team then anything else. I wanted to read this in anticipation for the movie coming out that will have lots of obscure characters from the series, and I thought the 80’s Suicide Squad would be a good place to look. I got to learn a lot of the history of the squad originally called Suicide Squadron during World War II. I found out that The Penguin was briefly a member. The main members are Deadshot, Enchantress, Captain Boomerang, Bronze Tiger, Nightshade, and lead by Randall Flagg commanded by Amanda Waller. Suicide Squad Volume 1: Trial By Fire collects Secret Origins 14 and Suicide Squad issues 1-8.

The Plot: We get a brief but through history of how the Suicide Squad was created, starting in World War II when it was called the Suicide Squadron and ran by Randall Flagg’s father, it wasn’t about super heroes, just extreme impossible missions. Different versions of the Squad were used in Vietnam and Korea. Amanda Waller is calling for a new Suicide Squad that is Super Villain based, using criminals on the missions, since they’re expendable. There first mission is stopping a terrorist organization called the Jihad. The next is against a super hero that only arrest people of color and is a member of the Aryan brotherhood. A three part issue of the Squad rescuing a Russian political figure, featuring the Penguin as a member of the Squad.

What I Liked: Captain Boomerang really stick out, his character doesn’t want to stop being a criminal, he’s just looking for something to do. He is the most ruthless killing members of the Squad he does not like on missions. Deadshot is another favorite who does what he wants and has his own kind of vengeance. I liked some of the political issue it touched on especially race and equality, this does in with Amanda Waller backstory. On the topic of the naming of the title Suicide Squad, Amanda Waller says it’s got a past and they have a past, they will love with it. There’s some pretty good fight scenes. There’s a great moment with Captain Boomerang fighting a speedster, where he throws him off a building, and says like the Flash you’ll run up the wall to save yourself. Then we see a splat.

What I Disliked: The drawing of Deadshot and Enchantress. Enchanted has the worst costume ever, Deadshot looks in his fifties, too old. The dialogue is so stale, except for Captain Boomerang. It is good she they are fighting supervillains but not regular soldiers.

Recommendation: if you’re a fan of the current Suicide Squad then you can skip this and won’t get too much out of it. The comic has its moments 50% worth it and 50% not worth it. I bought this graphic novel in a bargain bin for 3.50 and feel it was worth it for that. I was introduced to a couple of new characters, only one I didn’t know of previously. I rated Suicide Squad Volume 1: Trial By Fire 2 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Black Hammer Volume 4: Age of Doom Part Two by Jeff Lemire

Black Hammer Volume 4: Age of Doom, Part Two by Jeff Lemire was fantastic a perfect ending to the series. I was a little shocked that it ended I know of two other volumes to the series, but upon further research, one is short stories told in the world, and the other is a prequel. This is such a weird series that embraced the weird and did not shy away from it, but through all that weird it told a story of a dysfunctional super hero family, and the ending really nailed that aspect. This is easily one of my top series enders for a graphic novel. Characters were able to grow and the story has a nice arc that went full circle back to the beginning. Black Hammer Volume 4: Age of Doom, Part Two collects Black Hammer Age of Doom 8-12.

The Plot: The group had figured out that their reality was false, that some of their own teammates had a vision that spelled doom. So they created a false world with false identities never to return to earth. The group found a loop hole and broke through it while others tried to stop it. Captain Weird is stuck in a weird plane of existence with superheroes that didn’t make it into existence, and the way to escape is through the minds of the writers. Everyone else is stuck where they came from in an world where there is no Super Hero, only one remembers, will they be enough to convince the team of what they truly are.

What I Liked: The finale was so great the way it was put together, I could not imagine a better ending for the series. The embrace of the weird, this volume was actually toned down but the weird superhero and villains that didn’t make it to the Black Hammer series was great. I loved grizzly man the most, with the line, the people of the 90’s would love this. I liked the showing of LGTBQ relationships on Mars and still that it still has struggles. The Mars fight scenes were great and my favorite action from this volume. Gale getting her daddy attitude back was the best. The return of Walkie Talkie was so welcomed.

What I Disliked: I can already tell the chief complaint, where is the action? For a graphic novel this series has been on the low end. I would have liked to see more, but I was very satisfied with the narrative.

Recommendation: This series is great totally original, I discovered the Black Hammer series when the second volume was up for a Goodreads choice award. If you want to read a series that got its inspiration for pile comics of the 40’s and 50’s then this is the series for you. If you want to read something totally original and frankly a little weird then this is everything you want and more. I rated Black Hammer Volume 4: Age of Doom, Part Two by Jeff Lemire 5 out of 5 stars. I will eventually read the short stories and prequel Black Hammer ’45. 

Book Review: William Gibson’s Alien 3 by William Gibson

William Gibson’s Alien 3 by William Gibson is a graphic novel based on screenplay version of Aliens 3 that did not get made that William Gibson did back in the early 90’s. It is not a wonder it didn’t get made since it barely has the character of Ellen Ripley, but that was his only note, Weaver did not like the idea of Aliens Vs. Predator and did not want to commit to another one for that matter; funnily enough when she did agree she asked that her character be killed for fear of using her for Aliens Vs, Predator. This story takes the supporting characters of Corporal Hicks and the Android Bishop and makes them co-leads. Newt is in this story as well, but still as supporting cast. I think Gibson nailed the voice of Hicks and Bishop really well. Gibson admitted he was a huge fan of the previous films and it shows. The story is good about an arms race between two companies fighting to make the aliens into a weapon, with Hicks set to stop them but he doesn’t know if Bishop is with him or helping the enemy. Gibson adds one idea that is pretty gross but would have made the effect wizards of the time very happy. So we all know aliens hatch by bursting through the chest of the host, the scientist in wanting to turn them into weapons manipulate the genetic make up, and the cloned versions pop out of the head of the host for maximum gore and shock. This is a book I have been wanting read badly, this book was also made as audio drama featuring two of the actors that originally played Hicks- Michael Biehn and Bishop – Lance Hendrickson

The Plot: 3 Years after the events that happened in Aliens, the four survivors Ellen Ripley, Corporal Hicks with on side of his face burned by acid, Newt a small child, and Bishop an android that was torn in half, are all alive and sleeping in hypersleep, but they were not alone. A scavenger ship docks and breaks in they don’t last long as an alien and a pod attack, the scavengers sacrifice there over to steal Bishop. The Weyland corporation that tried to implant Ellen and Newt want to use the aliens as weapons in a civil war, that just happens to be with the group that stole Bishop. The arms race is on. Hicks is playing the good soldier while making plans to take over and destroy the Aliens, Ellen is placed in a drug induced coma as she violently attacked the Weyland Corps workers, Newt is still living in a nightmare scenario her dreams won’t let her escape, and Bishop is seeming to help the other company as tells what the aliens can do.

What I Liked: The gore is great, ore than a few memorable deaths and the alien popping out of the head when you were inspecting the chest, then the Alien kind of wearing the human skull was terrifying. For the parameters set that Ellen Ripley still has to be the hero but only giving her four scenes to work with, then I feel this story delivered that. Hicks gets a lot to do which I was glad to see since i was most disappointed that his character didn’t make it to the original Alien 3. Aliens is my favorite of the series and I felt this story still kept the space marine action adventure, more so than the slow build tension of the original Alien. The Art was really good on the aliens and Bishop especially. The cover art is horrifically beautiful.

What I Disliked: The majority of new characters remained really flat, I cared about only one of the new characters, that’s all. The exposition dialogue didn’t work for me, thank goodness I had excellent visuals, but dialogue alone didn’t always work. The story definitely improved when the mass killing started.

Recommendations: I think this is fun for both a casual fan and an Alien obsessed fan. Comic book lovers will get great visuals and a good story with lots of good action. Fans of William Gibson work get a good story that almost did not come to light. A big thanks to Dark Horse Comics who also did the original Star Wars script where Han Solo was a lizard creature. I just found out they are releasing the comic version of the original Alien screenplay as well when it was titled Starbeast. I rated William Gibson’s Alien 3 by William Gibson 4 out of 5 stars.