Ben Rhodes

Ben Rhodes (240)

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python


Butcher BakerButcher Baker is one of the most bizarrely innovative comics I have read in a long time. This is what you might get if Grant Morrison, Ed Brubaker, and Alan Moore created Captain America in a shared fever-dream. Seriously. This is a crazy book, and I loved every minute of it.


Luther StrodeThis is a bloody fun comic book about killing mobsters. I should confess that I have not read any of the earlier Luther Strode comics. In fact, I had never heard of the character. So, how does the book do at introducing new readers?


Buffy S9V2If you haven’t read Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 1, then go and do that now. If you haven’t read Season 8, do that first. So, from here on out, I am assuming you are current on the trades and will not offer any spoiler warnings for anything prior to this book.


Buffy is always more interesting when she is dealing with big, personal issues while saving the world. This comic book is almost one of the best I have seen.

BW Ozy 4The comic book event of the summer is nigh!  Before Watchmen, the much-anticipated prequel series to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, will consist of seven limited series and an epilogue one-shot.  Stay tuned, as the Fanboy Comics crew will be reviewing each title as it is released. Hurm. 



I should confess that I haven’t been reading much of the Before Watchmen series other than Ozymandias. This is not a principled stand; I just don’t have many local friends who would lend me comics. As a result, I can’t say whether the sweeping generalizations I’m about to make apply to the rest of the series, or just to Ozymandias.

I don’t know why they are making this comic.

Bigfoot SotEBigfoot: Sword of the Earthman is one of the more interesting comics I have read. It feels like Jack Kirby and Edgar Rice Burroughs had a love child, and that love child was awesome. The premise is normal enough. Bigfoot is a great fighter on Mars (think Conan the Barbarian) who battles to escape enslavement by the evil so-and-so who is ruling one section of the red planet. The civilization and creatures felt like old-school Jack Kirby to me (admittedly as the guy who has read like four Silver Age comics), and the sense of adventure and clearly deliberate ignoring of science in this science fiction story felt very Burroughs. The result is silly, odd, and fun.


Tears in RainRosa Montero’s novel, Tears in Rain, is a detective story set in a futuristic Madrid where humans live side-by-side with androids called replicants. Yes, this is a book that takes a lot of its cues from Blade Runner, but it does it in an upfront manner that I liked. The book doesn’t feel like it is borrowing too heavily, but rather they have very similar influences and headed in different directions. So, what you get is an interesting mystery story with a replicant detective named Bruna Husky who is trying to find the cause of some bizarre replicant suicides. She is also forced to deal with the increasing racism directed at reps at all levels of society.


Halo 4Halo 4 is a great game that subtly moves the series forward without trying to redefine it. In other words, if you like Halo, you will like Halo 4. The internet seemed nervous for a while when longtime Halo stewards Bungie Studio left the series and 343 studios took over. 343 was created by Microsoft for the express point of running Halo. There are two things that a studio can do to ruin a sequel. They can follow too closely to the original (Die Hard 2) or they can stray too far from what made the original great (Live Free or Die Hard). Fortunately, Halo 4 avoids both of these pitfalls.


The StrainI would imagine that adapting an existing story to comic form would be incredibly challenging.  You have to approach the original with both reverence and a critical eye. That balance must be just right, or the entire project can fail spectacularly. Having read the novel by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan and the first trade of The Strain, I can say that the adaptation was admirably done.


Lobster Johnson V2I have been a big fan of Lobster Johnson since I first saw him. In fact, I generally won’t shut up about my incredible love for Lobster Johnson. Part of this stems from my enjoyment of Mike Mignola’s sense of humor, but part of my love of the Lobster stems from his pedigree. Lobster Johnson is one part Indiana Jones, one part Batman (admittedly a small part), and one part Dick Tracey. He is as likely to fall into a trap as he is to spring one. He has the best (worst) catchphrase ever: “Feel the Claw!” In fact, nearly everything that he says feels like a line from a 1930s pulp adventure. Seriously, Lobster Johnson is the best.

So, how’s the new trade? Am I capable of delivering an impartial review? What’s with all the questions? Great. Mostly. I have no idea.


Adventure Time Marceline 5When I first started reading Adventure Time Presents: Marceline and the Scream Queens, I was excited because Adventure Time is so good at the hilariously weird (or is that the weirdly hilarious), and I was looking forward to that goofy fun. What I have grown to love about this particular comic is that it is not just an excuse to be bizarre; it is also a deeply personal story about two friends in a stressful time in their lives.

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