From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

Snapshots: New Avengers 56, Dark X-Men 3, The Boys: Herogasm 4

New Avengers 56 (Marvel)

As all the Avengers with freaky powers are knocked for six by a device that drains their abilities. It is left to the all-too-human Mockingbird to try and defend her fallen friends against the godlike Wrecking Crew. Balls! Wrecking Balls. Things go from bad to worse for the New Avengers as not only do they have to hide behind the girl with a rubbish codename, but then the dastardly Dark Avengers turn up as well. Fantastic Stuart Immomen art as well as a story that juggles fast-paced events, a vast cast and a neat twist make this a good choice for anyone who likes people in tight-fitting outfits hitting each other.

Dark X-Men 3 of 3 (Marvel)

Spinning out of the current X-Men/Dark Avengers Utopia cross over, this is one for the completist only. Three different stories by three different creative teams provide back story into the genesis of Norman Osborn’s team of Government Stooge X-Men but it’s done in a manner that manages to neither add or detract from the storyline it supports. Not terrible, but not really necessary either – and here’s me, not only reading the damn thing but writing a paragraph about it as well. I should have gone to the gym.

The Boys: Herogasm 4 of 6 (Dynamite)

Bit of an oddity this. I can’t actually fathom why this is a mini-series. Everything that happens is pretty much central to the ongoing story of the main The Boys title (about a bunch of hard nuts who see it as their job to ensure super heros get out of line). Anyone buying this who isn’t reading the core story is going to be pretty confused. Conversely if you’re a follower of the main story some of the plot points here seem pretty essential, so making this a spin-off series, and giving the impression that maybe one could skip it, doesn’t seem too clever. It’s hard enough getting people to read comics as it is. Anyway, while the overall storyline remains interesting, this issue was exposition-heavy and the attempts at crude humour fell rather flat. I’d let more gullible people like myself buy the monthlies, get a feel for how it all pans out and then maybe buy the trade paperbacks if I were you.


Every week (more or less) our devastatingly handsome comic reviewer Paul Duggan gives us the lowdown on comics that have inspired, amused, bored or downright annoyed him. These comics are taken from Paul’s personal purchase pile, which tends to meander over Marvel, Vertigo, Dark Horse and IDW titles. If you think there is a comic that Paul really should review, please contact him at He lives in London, where he drives a big fancy car and loves the ladies.