Good Comic Books | The UK's Most Awesomest Comic Book News, Reviews, Previews and Stuff | Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:35:28 +0000 en hourly 1 What To Make Of Ben Affleck As Batman Fri, 17 Jan 2014 12:59:55 +0000 Joe Innes

For comic book fans, some of the biggest news of the past year was that Ben Affleck would take up the role of Batman in the next Man Of Steel film. The news of a Superman-Batman collaboration alone was fairly explosive on its own. And following a relatively brief period of speculation on who might take up the role of the Caped Crusader, the Affleck news set the Internet ablaze for weeks.

So, what exactly has Affleck signed on for? Is it a good idea with the potential to launch a successful franchise? Is it a disaster waiting to happen and an insult to Christopher Nolan’s incredible Dark Knight trilogy? Our thoughts on these questions and more are below!

What Has Ben Affleck Agreed To?

Right now, no one is 100 percent sure what Affleck’s agreement to play Batman entails. What we know for certain is that Affleck will play the Caped Crusader—likely in a somewhat limited role—in the 2015 follow-up to Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel film. However, the International Business Times recently speculated that Affleck’s agreement may go well beyond 2015, encompassing a fresh Batman trilogy as well as additional follow-ups and collaborations with Superman. Wow.

Is Ben Affleck The Right Man For The Job?

When Ben Affleck was announced as the next Batman—even after Argo launched him to a new career peak—most fans were immediately up in arms. But now that the dust has settled a bit, it seems as if the real outrage was in anyone playing Batman so quickly after Nolan’s franchise concluded. Affleck himself may be a pretty decent pick, though, in the end.

To begin with, he’s exactly the right physical type, and he’s also been hitting the gym even more lately to beef up. But going beyond that, Affleck has demonstrated the kind of quiet, brooding strength that defines Batman. He can also pull off the boisterous arrogance that can at times represent Bruce Wayne. For the quiet strength, check out Argo, or even The Town, both of which show Affleck in full control, but never over-the-top. For a bit of Affleck’s action chops, take a look at Smokin’ Aces. This wasn’t the most popular film, which means you may have missed it. The movie’s actually currently available at Picturebox Films, an online streaming service with a fluid selection of films, and it’s worth a watch if you want a more comic book-style look at Affleck. And for Bruce Wayne-style charisma, take a look at the (critically slammed) Runner Runner in which Affleck himself was, while nefarious, quite enjoyable. All
in all, he may not be a bad pick all things considered.

Is There Disaster Potential?

Of course there is, but it’s not Affleck’s fault. The dirty little secret in the room is that Man Of Steel was, quite simply, not a good film. Where Nolan’s Dark Knight franchise thrived on character conflicts and situational drama, Snyder’s Man Of Steel fell into mindless action for the sake of action. There’s always the chance that Affleck himself offers a fine take on Batman while films themselves simply aren’t up to snuff.

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Interview | Judge Dredd Creator John Wagner On Dredd & The Day of Chaos Sat, 27 Apr 2013 13:54:42 +0000 Joe Innes If you didn’t already know it, Judge Dredd is heading for The Day of Chaos. Starting in 2000AD, prog 1743 on the 29th July, is a mega-series of epic proportions. Ever curious, we were able to get some questions to the legend that is John Wagner, Judge Dredd co-creator and long time 2000AD writer… which was nice. We asked about the mega-series, the new movie and all that kind of junk, but you can pretty much just read it…

Good Comic Books | The Day of Chaos is fast approaching, what can we expect? Apart from there being some sort of chaotic day… Will it be a good place for new readers to cut their teeth on Judge Dredd?

John Wagner | I’d like to think so.  It does involve characters regular Dredd readers will be familiar with, but it’s important to make any story accessible to new readers. Not perhaps if you jump on in the middle, but if you’re there from the start. In this the format of Day of Chaos should help – a lot of shorter stories, some of which may seem at first only obliquely connected to the bigger picture – building up to an electrifying and violent conclusion (at least, that’s what my PR guy is saying). A similar structure to Tour of Duty, in fact, though the matter at hand is totally different.

GCB | What exactly constitutes a mega-series? Has there been pressure to write stories that can compete with DC & Marvel ‘events’?

John | Matt Smith (2000AD editor) never pressures me in that way. I’m sure he’s happy to be having another mega-series, if that’s the word, but he didn’t hassle me or get on my back about it, though I could, I suppose, sense an unstated preference from him. And I was pleased to go along, though it took a lot of time and no little agonising to come up with. I’ve done so many short Dredds now that I feel a bit played out on them. A multi-part story makes my task more difficult in some ways, of course. Putting all the pieces together is always testing. That’s what it is, though, a multi-part story. I don’t think I’d call it a mega-series.

Image ©Rebellion A/S

GCB | How easy do Dredd story ideas come to you after so many years of writing the character?

John | Like I said, not that easy. Think of an idea and it’s probably been done. It’s best when they just pop into your head – and you have the presence of mind to write them down. I’ve probably forgotten more good ideas than I’ve written.

GCB | Do you ever start a story before realising you’ve done it before?

John | On at least one occasion I wrote the complete story before I realised in all essential details I’d written it before… How I laughed.

GCB | You’ve been an incredibly influential figure in the comics industry for years, what is your view on how the market is changing? What are your thoughts on DC’s big reboot thing?

John | I have no idea what Marvel are up to but from what little I’ve heard about the latest DC stunt I can’t say I’m that enthused. Maybe readers will love it, what do I know? I used to take more of an interest but these days I know nothing about comics.

Image ©Rebellion A/S

GCB | How do you feel about the guys working on the new Dredd film? Are they up to it? How does it feel having strangers let loose on a character you created, like… Sylvester Stallone?

John | Alex, the writer, has been determined to keep Dredd true to character. The Mega-City One he portrays is one side of the multi-faceted city we know, a frightening, dystopian view of the future. Stallone I won’t criticise. The first movie wouldn’t have been made if it hadn’t been for him. Many would say that would have been for the best, but – if you exclude the script – there were a lot of good things about it. And at least it has set the stage for next year’s film.

Image ©Rebellion A/S

I’ve never felt that possessive about Dredd. So many writers and artists have added detail to the city and the judges that it was no wrench when the movie guys got hold of it. A character like Button Man, that’s different. That’s only ever had my hand on it, mine and Arthur Ranson’s. It feels more personal. But when you sign away film rights there’s not generally a lot you can do about what comes out the other end. All you can do is hope they understand what makes the story tick and get it right.   Dreamworks, I’m glad to say, are being very particular about getting the right screenplay.

GCB | What inspires you to tell these stories?

John | Beats working.

GCB | Does Judge Dredd sleep with his armour on?

John | He usually only gets ten minutes in the sleep machine, hardly time to disrobe.

Make sure to check out 2000AD on the 29th July to catch Dredd in the first bit of the mega-series, and keep checking back at Good Comic Books for updates on the Dredd film, which I’m now incredibly excited about…

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Where Did Good Comic Books Go? Thu, 12 Jul 2012 17:10:05 +0000 Joe Innes Hello everyone, you may have wondered why nothing ever gets written on here anymore. It’s because I recorded an album and started spending all my time singing. Sorry.

At the end of last year I put a band together, and it kinda went really well, you can listen to it HERE if you want, it’s anti-folk geek pop rock (I think). We have a FACEBOOK, a TWITTER and a WEBSITE, but if you’re all about the comic books and you’d like to help me maintain this website (as I don’t really have time anymore) email me at joe(at)joeinnes(dot)com.

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Review | The Adventures of Tintin Sun, 16 Oct 2011 20:34:52 +0000 willpond I will try to make this review as un-biased as possible, but I do warn you that it won’t be easy. Many children for over 70 years have grown up reading the adventures of Tintin (or having them read to them) and will have fond memories of the boy hero’s adventures, and probably a soft spot for Snowy. So when Spielberg went into production on a film version I am sure many people would have been worried about what he will do with ‘their’ Tintin. Well everyone can relax, it’s most definitely in safe hands; The Adventures of Tintin is, um… Tintin-erific?

Only a true fan could have made this film and director Steven Spielberg completely indulges himself in the world of Tintin and Herge. He often keeps the shot wide or medium which lets the audience view and admire the beautifully animated landscapes and locations. Spielberg must have known the weight of expectation on his shoulders when making the movie, and he never diverts from Herge’s original M.O; adventure, mystery and thrilling action. If you’ve read our interview with Tintinologist Michael Farr, then you’ll know Herge (back in the day) named Spielberg as the man to bring Tintin to the big screen, and it’s done with a huge amount of love and passion.

The Adventures of Tintin is surely the pinnacle of motion capture, and Spielberg treats the technology like an over-excited child with a super 8 camera and a toy set; he fluidly moves the action across scenes and locations and the action set pieces are pure spectacle. In a scene in which Captain Haddock recounts the story of the Unicorn, Spielberg cuts the action between Haddock recounting the story and the actual events in the past. The frame whizzes around at high speeds and cuts effortlessly between both locations, it’s stunning, and the action sequences on board the Unicorn are truly magical, I was in effing awe.

Screenwriters Moffat, Wright and Cornish have freely taken story points from across the Tintin volumes and have created a patchwork quilt of a script, which perfectly matches up to any Herge story. The cast all fill their roles well, and the animators have done a great job re-creating the characters on screen. When it comes to Tintin himself, considering that Herge’s drawings of the boy hero lacked any great amount of detail surrounding his facial features, I thought he looked pretty good in the film. Pegg and Frost also shine as Thompson and Thomson, and Andy Serkis is brilliant barging his way across the scene as Captain Haddock (even if his accent does sometimes drop).

The Adventures of Tintin starts not with a shot of the hero himself, but brilliantly begins with a shot of his creator Herge drawing a portrait of Tintin in a busy market square. The film is littered with little in jokes and trivia, and I will need to see the film again to catch them all. Tintin is pure old school fun, full off adventure, mystery and action. I already know when I will be seeing the film again upon its release, and I cannot wait.

Will Pond.

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Was the DCnU necessary?? Sat, 15 Oct 2011 19:35:41 +0000 Joe Innes I was not looking forward to the DC revamp. I wasn’t dreading it, or outraged by it, I just didn’t see the need. Great artists and writers will always attract attention, regardless of the issue number. But it’s not a surprising move these days, since a revamp of some kind is never far off for any comic series, be it with a new identity, costume or setting. But what’s done is done and with the first month of the New 52 over…What’s the verdict?

The good news is that the best issues were brilliant. They shone out as winning combinations of artists and writers that packed in as much brain as brawn. My personal Top 5 were as follows:

1. Action Comics – Fresh, fast, fun and fantastic
2. Aquaman – A whale of a time
3. Wonder Woman – Less is more, and scarier
4. Batman – Bat to basics with gusto
5. Batwoman – Stylish and swift, if sparse

There were a few guilty pleasures like Justice League and Demon Knights that were high on spectacle (and explosions) but failed to offer much else. Others like Green Lantern were perfectly acceptable chapters in ongoing stories but felt a little underwhelming this month. And some were not even worth picking up let alone being disappointed by (I’m looking at you Red Hood and the Outlaws).

So was it worth it? Well in my opinion, no. The comics that impressed me (about 20% of all the titles released) could have easily been made without resetting the entire universe. And while I’m being frank, a success rate of 1 in 5 should not be acceptable for a business move like this. For every decent series the readers enjoy they have to put up with four bad ones? Surely DC shouldn’t bother unless they can guarantee a higher level of quality all round. At any rate, as long as I avoid looking down the shelves at all the wasted potential, I might be able to pretend as if nothing has happened.

Joe Read.

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News | 3rd International Tintin Trailer Tue, 11 Oct 2011 20:44:58 +0000 willpond With barely three weeks to go till the UK release date anticipation for Tintin’s Hollywood big screen debut is reaching near hysterical levels at the GoodComicbooks offices (Sorry America, you will have to wait another two months) and the release of a third, and probably final international trailer have only made us all even more excited. The new trailer is action packed and really shows of the amount of adventure the new film will hold; we get to see loads of new footage, and we also see just how beautiful some of the animated landscapes look. Check out the trailer below and get back to us with your thoughts:

Also on a side note, Tintinoligist Michael Farr (who we did a recent interview with HERE) will be giving a talk all about Tintin at the Wigmore Hall in central London on October the 22nd in aid of charity, to apply for tickets and for more information head to

Will Pond.

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News | The Avengers Trailer Wed, 12 Oct 2011 09:02:52 +0000 willpond Marvel and Paramount yesterday released a new, longer trailer for The Avengers; could this end up being not just the biggest blockbuster off 2012, but also the biggest blockbuster ever?

Everything looks super sized; the cast, the sets and even the explosions, the wide shot 18 seconds in is particularly impressive. Director Joss Whedon is keeping his cards pretty close to his chest, and the trailer shows less than it feels like it does; but he does introduce the main characters and the villain, so it’s enough to get me excited.

Oh, and if your wondering where the hell is the Hulk, just wait to the end. Check out the trailer below and get back to us with your thoughts.

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Review | Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life Mon, 03 Oct 2011 15:59:29 +0000 willpond

It suits Serge Gainsbourg well that director Joann Sfar chooses not to just follow the usual plodding linier line of events that create the narrative structure of most musical biopics, but opts to instead make his debut directorial feature as unique, eccentric and unusual as the man it is inspired by. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life is an ambitious film; as Sfar attempts to blur the line between myth and fact and reality and imagination, and in doing so creates a well-formed portrait of the man behind an icon.

Sfar strings together a fractured narrative drawn from important and influential moments from Gainsbourg’s life, using the women and relationships in his life as tent poles upon which the rest of the film hangs (You may notice on the poster Gainsbourg is framed by his two great loves, Bridgett Bardot and Jane Birkin). Sfar skilfully paints Gainsbourg at times both boastful and full of confidence but also manages to give the character a hidden shyness and shows an internal conflict between his natural urges and artistic desire. Sfar ingeniously does this by creating a physical representation off Gainsbourg’s own mind, which follows him throughout the film, changing its appearance reflecting the protagonist’s emotional state. Genius.

As a child hiding from Nazi’s in the French countryside (Gainsbourg was Jewish) he is followed by a huge round figure twice his size and at least three times his width, impossible not to see! As an adult a stick thin Ghoul with large ears and a long nose advises and, well quite frankly berates him into decisions. Doug Jones playing the Ghoul almost wraps his thin body around Gainsbourg’s and exaggerates his movements for full creepiness! Sfar draws upon his own graphic novel (which served as the source text for the screenplay) and blurs the line between reality and imagination, having characters talk to both Gainsbourg and the Ghoul at once, its mind-boggling!

The is a great film to look at; the particularly fine lighting and camera work perfectly compliment the production design, I can’t think of a single frame that wouldn’t look beautiful as a framed photograph. Of course Gainsbourg was a musician and Sfar is obviously a big fan of his music, often when a song plays the film stops dead in its tracks and just admires the musicianship. Eric Elmosnino gives one of those ‘throw yourself completely in’ performances as Gainsbourg; apart from closely resembling the musician, his performance is incredibly well judged, a scene in a police van after his Father’s death is particularly fine.

As I am writing this review I am listening to the best of Serge Gainsbourg, which I bought within about 10 mins of finishing the film. Sfar’s direction is impressive for a debut feature and I feel his cinematic career may be one to watch, the leap from comic book artist/writer to film director has proven tricky in the past (hello Frank Miller!) but he has managed it successfully. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life paints both paints a vivid portrait of the French legend, and at the same time is loads of fun.

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life currently has a limited North American Release, and is available on DVD elsewhere.

Will Pond.

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News | Green Lantern Blu-Ray/DVD Release Details Mon, 03 Oct 2011 15:38:27 +0000 willpond Anyone who visits this site regularly will know that we were all fans of the Green Lantern film that was released earlier this summer (Check out our review HERE), which turned out to be contradictory to about everyone else on the Internet!

In preparation for the home entertainment release Warner Bros’ UK distribution arm have released the details of the Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-Ray extras and the cover art for both Blu Ray release formats and the DVD release. And yes, it does come in a green case!

Both the Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-ray will come with a DVD and digital copy of the film. The Blu-Ray extras will include:

  • MMM and Picture in Picture Focus Pods
  • The Art of Green Lantern
  • Weapons Hot: The U.C.A.V. Dog Fight
  • Reinventing the Superhero Costume
  • Ring Slinging 101
  • We Are the Corps
  • Acting Under 10 Pounds of Silicone
  • Guardians Revealed
  • When Parallax Attacks
  • The Universe According to Green Lantern
  • Ryan Reynolds Becomes the Green Lantern
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Justice League #1 Digital Comic
  • Preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series

The Blu-Ray release will also include an extra 8 minutes of footage, get back to us with your thoughts on where this extra footage could fit and check out the cover art for all three releases below.


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Classics | All Star Superman Wed, 28 Sep 2011 19:03:36 +0000 Joe Innes To mark the release of Action Comics #1 this week, I thought I’d reminisce over Grant Morrison’s last outing with the man of steel, All Star Superman. The Last Son of Krypton has forever been an icon of the medium and yet the comics themselves have never really hit the heights they could.

He’s a much more difficult character to handle because unlike someone like Batman (billionaire playboy by day, brooding one-man-army by night) he isn’t cool. He’s a big blue boy scout and proud of it, but unfortunately for him, since Han Solo came around all the kids want to be Wolverine, not Cyclops. So what can you do? The solution most writers and artists found was to emphasize his god-like power. This meant gigantic alien fistfights and virtually no character development. Yes they’ve killed him, brought him back to life and turned him electric blue, but have we seen these creators truly push the limits of the man of tomorrow? Has anyone tapped his true potential? I didn’t think so until I read All Star Superman.

The series doesn’t really run along a singular narrative (something that the recent animated adaptation suffered from trying to force) but sufficient to say it features a super powered Lois Lane, an encounter with Black Kryptonite, an interview with an imprisoned Lex Luthor, an excursion to Bizarro World, an altercation with Kryptonian explorers and a sun eater among other things. The scale of the series is at once epic and intimate and it succeeds in crossing many subgenres within the realm of science fiction. Presumably taking his lead from Alan Moore, Morrison is hugely respectful of the character’s rich history and revels in the opportunity to turn many of the sillier or ‘goofy’ ideas from the Silver Age into some brilliantly cool components.

This is helped in no small part by the outstanding artwork of Frank Quitely whose style transcends decades of mythology to capture the essence of the character. His depiction of Superman perfectly encapsulates his power and humility; tall, broad and a little bit clumsy. Unlike Bill of Kill Bill fame, I don’t think that Clark Kent is Superman’s critique of the human race. To me they are one in the same sharing strengths and insecurities. Quitely finds the overlap and brings it out for all to see. Together this artist and writer have found the vulnerability in a seemingly indestructible character and proceed to strip him bare with each new adventure.

In the ninth issue, Superman describes himself as ‘a scientist’s son. It’s in my nature to observe and learn…’ This is a quality in the character that helps to anchor the tone of the series. It’s a celebration of life, the universe and everything. He is not humanity’s resident strong man, more a scatterbrained genius with one hundred plates spinning at once. He is an inspiration, a symbol of human potential. This comic put a fresh spin on an already iconic character and in my opinion it is the greatest Superman story ever told. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Joe Read.

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