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"No Man's Sky" is This Man's Sky

No Man's Sky

There’s something about the idea of walking somewhere that no one else ever has which connects to why I fell in love with sci-fi as a kid. The idea of walking alien soil, taking in bizarre vegetation and unknown, inexplicable wildlife appealed to me far more than the epic space battles or the jetpack and robot futurescapes. That moment of arrival; that sense of what have you got for me today, universe? Exploration for its own sake is at the heart of my sci-fi.

So No Man’s Sky is at the heart of my sci-fi.

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Period Drama, no Petticoats: Paper Girls #6

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Nostalgia hits us in various ways this show, as we take a look at issue six of Paper Girls, written by Brian K Vaughan with art by Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson, which tells the story of characters from 1988 brought forward into the present. (And some others coming back from the future. Possibly. Exactly what’s going on remains tantalisingly intriguing.)

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One Comic: Out and Proud!

Princess Princess Ever After

Let's face it - it's been a grim week in the LGBT world (and indeed, everywhere), so it feels more important than ever to acknowledge and celebrate our sexual and gender diversity. So...

Happy Pride Month! To mark the occasion, and to reflect its queer sensibilities, Oni Press has published its first Pride Spectacular; three extracts from its LGBTQ-focused titles, including previews of two new series. So how do Merry Men, Wet Moon and Princess Princess Ever After hold up as queer stories, as comics in general, and as reasons to have Pride?

And by way of celebrating the radical act of living openly - this episode's 3-and-1 is a delve into 'comic book coming out', with a particular focus on some times it was done well.

This show is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Orlando shooting, and to the countless other LGBT victims of violence across the world.

Equality Florida has set up a GoFundMe page for the victims, 100% of the proceeds goes to the victims and their families.

Other vetted national and local charities can be found here, including The Trevor Project


One Comic Makes Its Own Laws With Punisher #1

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Hot off a guest appearance in Daredevil season 2 on Netflix, and last seen in comics at the start of Secret Wars killing all the supervillains as the world ended... It's The Punisher's turn to be relaunched! A new number one and a new creative team - well, new-ish - as one of them is a very old hand at depicting the terminal adventures of Frank Castle.

Amongst many other subjects, we also discuss: who to root for if you can't root for the protagonist; heroes that kill; how best to use a character like The Punisher in a universe of heroes who don't kill; whether and how this issue works for us, and Bex's fondness for violence. With an unexpected special guest mention of Frank Miller?

This show rated explicit for one use of Bex's favourite word. You know the one...

One Comic on X-Men: Alpha - Age of Apocalypse

X-Men Alpha

X-Men: Apocalypse opens in cinemas here in the UK and its reviews are, let’s be generous and say ‘not great’. Will an Apocalypse-related comic - arguably the Apocalypse-related comic - be any better?

This episode, we check out X-Men: Alpha - Age of Apocalypse; the comic that started the original Age of Apocalypse story. This issue kicks off of the saga that replaced the entire X-Men comic book line for four months.

X-Men: Alpha plunged all our intrepid mutant teams into a world where Professor X died years earlier and Apocalypse arose unchallenged. Magneto and his X-Men are at the vanguard of the resistance. It’s a famous epic; the source of many stories since. But is it any good?

And have we ever before spent as much time discussing the rendering of various characters’ junk?

And alternate universes being all the rage, it’s also time to dip into some others for this show’s 3&1, courtesy of Jon.


One Comic and Civil War #1

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It's Captain America: Civil War week (here in the UK), so Bex, Jared and Jon are marking the occasion with a One Comic Civil War show.

The first issue of Civil War from 2006 marked the start of the series that saw hero vs hero in an ideological battle; should heroes be registered and licensed by the government, or should they operate freely? If the government defines who is a villain, what's to stop them basing their decision on political grounds? But without regulation, who holds the heroes accountable when things go wrong? This promises not to be a typical all guns blazing super-heroic clash.

As Civil War was written by Mark Millar, Jared rounds out the show with a 3&1 on Millar comics. In a long career covering multiple publishers, multiple genres and no small amount of controversy, what makes Jared's top three, and what's his worst one ever?


The Killing Joke: We're Not Laughing Any More

OracleYesterday’s release of a trailer for the upcoming animated version of famous Batman story The Killing Joke kicked off much discussion of the source material in various circles.

For a number reasons more or less this exact discussion surfaces whenever The Killing Joke is in the news. I was particularly aware of yesterday’s iteration because well-known comics writer Gail Simone ended up at ground zero for a lot of the Twitter-based ‘debate’.

The various strands of conversation that intersected Simone’s timeline, often followed into other people’s feeds and then back again, seemed such a perfect representation of how in multiple ways a certain segment of fandom deals with the most common critiques of The Killing Joke that it felt worth spending a little time interrogating the key points.

In fact, as is evident from Gail Simone’s mentions, people who’ve never read a comic in their lives feel entirely qualified to express a view on this. Mostly, it seems, people who don’t like women very much.

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One Comic gets vampy with Vampirella #1

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So, what do you do if you're a famously an infamously sexy vampire heroine with a werewolf boyfriend and a snooty butler looking to make a fresh start?You move to Los Angeles, rent an enormous gothic mansion (via an ad on CraigsList) and get yourself a whole new wardrobe.

That's the starting point for a new series of Vampirella, and the biggest change is the most obvious: the classic Trina Robbins-designed costume - famous from the walls of seedy comic shops the world over - is gone. As our heroine gets settled in to her new life and deals with unexpected intruders and internet infamy we also begin to discover a monstrous threat looming over a group of unsuspecting movie extras. The plot, as they say, thickens...

And on the subject of vampires in comics, we have a (lengthy) 3&1 segment on that very subject...