The Phoenix Weekender – Issue 237

Published On July 23, 2016 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Comics For Children, The Phoenix Weekender


Oh yes, those wonderful Mega Robo Bros return this issue, with the first part of Mega Robo Challenge by Neill Cameron. You should all be loving MRB, as it’s such a wonderfully fun and funny strip, the ongoing adventures of Alex and Freddy, robot boys who’re more human than many, full of laughs, action and a fair bit of genuine warmth.

This issue we’ve more bickering, as Alex and Freddy are want to do. But following that, there’s the return of old foes and despite Alex’s warnings to Freddy to rise above it, Freddy is simply no going to let it go. Oh dear.

Oh, it’s good to have MRB back again.


Just as with MRB, Jamie Smart’s Bunny Vs Monkey is another strip that manages to be ridiculously good and funny but can also inject a perfect note of pathos and heartbreak. Case in point this issue, as we catch up with the wonderfully daft creatures of the woodland, with Monkey on the rampage with “GREAT BIG FIERY FISTS OF DOOM!!“. But as Bunny is quick to point out, Monkey’s meant to be on their side now, as the threat of the Maniacal Badger is their main problem.

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But there in that last panel is the kicker…. as we know that poor Skunky hasn’t been the same since that naughty badger arrived on the scene, better at being bad, with inventions that work properly, and that’s the brilliance of it – in a strip that’s all about stupid gags and daft action, Smart’s writing and characterisation is deft enough to allow his readership to understand just how depressed and miserable poor Skunky is.

And Smart does love twisting the knife, those occasional pages, or in this case one panel, that really do break your heart….

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You’ll have to excuse me a moment, I appear to have something in my eye.



Ok, back now. And here’s the rest of this week’s Phoenix:

Philip Pullman and Fred Fordham’s John Blake: The Mystery Of The Ghost Ship continues rather brilliantly here, everything slowly yet surely coming together very well, full of intrigue and mystery. And no, I still can’t show you just how good Fordham’s art is.

Kate Brown and Neill Cameron’s Tamsin And The Dark is fair racing along now, as Tamsin, her brother Morgan, the rescued baby are all careering away from The Dark. It’s a veritable rollercoaster ride here, and there’s bad, bad news by the end of it. Another excellent episode.


Live From HQ by Phoenix editorial and Lee Robinson sees poor Chops Piggerton suffering rather from a nasty little infection. It’s Quincy and Tabs to the rescue, going all Fantastic Voyage in the process.


And finally, another welcome returnee, as Adam and Lisa Murphy bring us yet another Corpse Talk, this week featuring “The Shakespeare of small animals, the Austen of autumn leaves, the Da Vinci of da countryside – it’s Beatrix Potter“.


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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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