This is not your father's Oogie Boogie.
Boogeyman #1 (w: Mathieu Salvia, a: Djet)
Publisher: Ablaze Publishing
This book absolutely went a direction I wasn't expecting. What started as a seemingly run of the mill boogeyman story with a scared kid and unbelieving parents turns into a dark kid + monster adventure story. The boogeyman we originally hear about turns out to not only be real, but some sort of elder being known as Father Death. We are thrust into a war between elder entities and lesser entities, a war that didn't seem to turn out well for father Death and his ilk. There's action, murder, mystery and horror. It's a really cool ride.
Ninjettes #1 (w: Fed Van Lente, a: Joseph Cooper)
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
It's like Sucker Punch meets Battle Royale in an art style reminiscent of a gritty Archie story. Ninjettes features 11 young women dropped into the desert in order to fight to the death all because they failed a personality test designed to weed out mass shooters from society. It's an incredibly dark way of handling the issue of gun violence in this country, and yet oddly believable since we seem to want to do everything aside from actually regulating guns and gun violence. This book follows one specific Ninjette who failed her test because she decided to doodle her teacher hanging instead of actually taking it, an action she claims is innocent but honestly makes me more concerned for her than the people that actually took it and failed organically. It's bloody, violent and a little silly, all presented in a moderately pastel art style that gives the whole thing a bit of an arthouse-feel. It definitely walks the line of exploitative, but what do you expect from Dynamite? A fun romp for fans of the "teens fight to the death" genre.
What you may have missed in April!
Honorable Mention Highlights: April 2022
Alice Ever After #1
Have you ever wanted to read Alice in Wonderland and be like... super bummed out after? Well, good news! Check out Alice Ever After for a dark, reality blurring retelling of Alice's adventures in Wonderland. Alice moves through a cruel and unforgiving world as she seeks comfort through he imaginary friends that exist in a realm only accesible through the ingestion of special pills. Oh, and it's narrated by cats.
This comic absolutely drips with that classic blend of dry Manhattan wit and sarcasm. A young(ish) woman is assigned as a caretaker for an elderly (but don't tell her i said that) woman who lives alone in her modest apartment. When she arrives for her first day, the caretaker finds her caretakee acting strange. Turns out, she's performing some spells. Timey-wimey spells! Off to the 70s we go!
Miskatonic High #1
I will always appreciate the Breakfast Club formula of throwing misfit high schoolers at random problems and watching them bond. In this case, those problems are time traveling swords and demons with tentacles. It's leans a little heavy into tropes (hello, girl who lives for social media), but has a good enough setup that I look forward to issue two.
The Joneses #1
We've been seeing a lot of books centered around "what happens when normal folks get powers?" But what makes this one stand out is very current, very social-political focus this story is taking. While it definitely touches on the "great power comes with great responsibility" trope, it focuses more intently on what it means to be different, and how being different in a very homogenous community makes life super hard.
Immortal Red Sonja #1
Sonja is cursed! What is she cursed with? A SHIRT! pause for gasps
It goes deeper than that, clearly. Beyond just being upgraded to more practically effective armor against her (and her typical audience's) will, Sonja is shackled to a talking chainmail shirt and sent on a quest into a quasi-Arthurian land of fae magics, curses and legends. It's shaping up to be an absolute load of dark, bloody fun.
One of the great things about comic books is how creative you can be with a medium that incorporates words, images, narration, omniscience, and perspective hopping. This book does something we don't see every day - it's a first person viewpoint! Seeing everything from the main character's eyes means the beautiful art style is filled with nuance and specificity. Admittedly, there's not a ton that goes on in this first book, but the style is really, really cool.
We love good practical effects in this family.
Weekly Pull Highlights: May 5, 2021
Not sure what to get Mom this Mother's Day? Here's a handful of excellent titles, ranging from deep looks into societal flaws, to pulpy endeavors on pirate ships, to gruesome body horror... look, Mom isn't all scented candles, you guys.
There was just too much to cover this week!
Honorable Mention Highlights: February 3, 2021
Specter Inspectors #1
Remember how, for a few years, directors couldn't figure out how to implement a found-footage horror movie without making a team of TV paranormal investigators discover REAL horror in a haunted facility? This is that, but a comic. Not bad, not entirely surprising, but a fun romp if you're itching for another horror title.
The Encoded #1
This book starts out with a really interesting look at a plausible future, focusing on random strangers, in a random encounter, and it feels incredibly organic and cool and I really want more of THAT. But it sort of divolves into your standard 'I'm the only one who can save us all' sort of action vibe, which is... Fine? I think I'd rather have more of the slice of life, if I'm being honest. But there's giant robots, so that's dope.
Deep Beyond #1
A cool title from Mirka Andolfo. A bit different from her other titles that have hit the scene recently, this one deals with topics like pollution, propaganda and big ol' seas beasties. The first issue is a bit slow paced, but the story seems like it's gonna be a fun time.
Here we are again. I am once again talking about how much I love Red Sonja spinoff and else world books more than the normal Red Sonja stuff. I like the premise of this one: a multiverse of Sonja's that are judged and forced to battle one another but some sort of deific All-Sonja. The twist at the end was a real badass nod to the OG Sonja too. Fun book overall.
Happy, sad, silly - what's your book vibe this week?
Not a bad week for comics (especially with all the Future State stuff coming out - be sure to check out episode for it, live now!), but there just wasn't a whole lot to talk about. Instead, here are our reviews of some of the new titles we thought were worth mentioning!
Honorable Mention Highlights: January 13, 20201
I'm gonna talk about this one because it bummed Tee out too much. I LOVE THIS BOOK. As an avid Ice Cream Man Stan, this book is refreshingly familiar while also bending the rules a bit by grounded things a smidge more in the bleak, bland reality of the main character's world. Gone are the interdimensional, post-modern white capped gentlemen, but here to stay are the morbid reflections on the human condition. I'll try not to drool too much.
Space Bastards #1
This book is what would happen if a Lobo fan fell asleep while reading a CNN article about defunding the USPS while Falling Down was playing in the background. Bonkers, bloody and billigerent, it's just the right amount of comic mischief to be a fun time.
Red Sonja & the Superpowers #1
The second in Dynamite's line of "yo, let's hurl these golden age superheroes at our big tiddy super ladies" comics. I liked this one better than the Vampirella entry. Something about Red Sonja being angrily chucked at other IPs just works so well. I'm honestly excited to watch her back her way through a whole mess of super chuckleheads.
Red Hood doesn't get no respect!
Weekly Pull Highlights: August 26, 2020
WOW are there some intense plot points this week! From there finally being actually three Jokers, to the surprise throwback in the Daredevil Annual, there's no limit on the comic craziness this episode. OH, and aliens attack Red Sonja... we're not kidding.
(Want to avoid Three Jokers #1 spoilers? Skip to 25:10!)
Our first official Secret Shortbox solo episode!
Our first stand-alone edition of 'Secret Shortbox,' where we decide what would be in the comic collection of our favorite authors, both new and old! We've covered a couple more modern authors before, but this week we decided to take it back to one of our all-time faves, Jane Austen herself! From hilarious web comics to some of the most world-renowned titles, we give a great list of options for those who love Austenian works.
It's a weird, weird world and we just live in it.
Weekly Pull Highlights: March 25, 2020
This is gonna be the last of our traditional episodes for a while, because Diamond has had to cancel comic distribution thanks to COVID-19. We'll still have new episodes coming every Sunday, but expect more of our bonus formats like REEL EXTRA and Powered Gaming. It's a crazy time to be alive, but we're going to keep on trucking as best we can. Stay safe, everyone!
There is no wrath like a Gamora scorned.
Weekly Pull Highlights: January 22, 2020
Can you believe we're celebrating the 750th issue of Wonder Woman? We talk about her momentous milestone this week, as well as other powerhouse women in comics with the new Guardians of the Galaxy title and the new Red Sonja: Age of Chaos #1! (Who run the world? GIRLS.)
It's time for a Deadpool-loving intervention.
Weekly Pull Highlights: September 11, 2019
Happy Friday the 13th! We've got a spooky episode up for you, filled with suspense, intrigue, and a conspiracy about Taco Bell that will rattle you to your bones!...
...Not really, but we do talk about some character development for the Riddler, how this issue of Captain Marvel fell flat, and how ducks can be super mean. Check it out!
Cover B Podcast
Chris & Tee host this weekly comic-focused show, providing insight on new comics, entertainment news and more.