It's a Monster Mash, and maybe even a graveyard smash.
Lucky #1 (w: Tim Seeley, a: Troy Dongarra)
Publisher: Keenspot Entertainment
Tim Seeley returns to his "edgy girl in a skirt kicking monster ass" roots this time with a unique superhero angle. The book follows Lucky, a super-powered cat girl (maybe) with the ability to borrow luck from those around her. She began as part of a super team called the Super Beasts, which included Dracula Man, a ghost, a Frankenstein's monster-kinda guy, and like a rock lady. Anyway, Lucky didn't last long on the team since her ability resulted in her comrades having increasingly frequent stints of bad luck. Eventually, the team disbanded and went their separate ways.
For Lucky, this meant barely scraping by as a delivery driver. For Dracula Man, this meant becoming mayor. Super duper fair.
After a routine attempted mugging, Lucky eventually uncovers a corrupt political plot and begins her journey to thwart it, all building to her comeback as an official solo superhero. It's a fun romp with an incredibly cartoony art style. The whole adventure is set in a world comprised entirely of Halloween-y/monster-y people (a la Halloweentown in Nightmare Before Christmas, but mixed with more urban sprawl and less Tim Burton). For fans of Tim Seeley, this will be a refreshing story as his roots in Hack / Slash are easily apparent. It's quirky, it's angsty, it's a little silly. It was an overall good time.
Zombicide Day One #1 (w: Luca Enoch, Stefano Vietti, a: Alessio Moroni, Marco Itri)
Publisher: Source Point Press
Is this the best zombie apocalypse story ever told? No, not really. It's fairly run of the mill, pretty straight forward. However, what it lacks in nuance, it makes up for in being just darn fun. Maybe I'm biased out of my love for the Zombicide board game, but gosh dang it, I love me a zombie story that features a diverse cast each with unique abilities. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is the "large fries" of the comics available this week: it isn't going to sustain you, and yeah, sure there are healthier choices, but it is definitely going to be an enjoyable experience.
Okay, so look....
The holidays happened and we were travelling a bunch. Then we got sick. Like the BIG sick, the *NINETEEN* sick, y'know. SO, we've missed some reading, but here are some things that have hit shelves recently that we think you should read. Here's to getting back on schedule moving forward.
Children of the Black Sun #1 (w: Dario Sicchio, a: Letizia Cadoniei)
Publisher: ABLAZE Publishing
This book is full of wonderful bait-and-switch moments. Taking place in a world where on two separate occasions the normal sun was replaced by a dark, ominous Black Sun. During the first of these events, millions lost their lives to despair. On the second, billions lost their lives to one another. We enter into a world trying it's hardest to feel hope. Ten years have past since the second event, and a collective paranoia has set over society. People want so hard to feel hope for a future free of more Black Sun events, but every slight negative emotion or chilly breeze is read as a sign of the end of days. People are angry, nervous, tired, and generally trying their hardest to keep it together.
Amidst this rising tension live the Children of the Black Sun, kids who were conceived during one of the two events. Though they sport grey skin, red eyes and white hair, science has found that they are genetically identical to normal human beings. Despite this knowledge, they are targeted by the increasing paranoia of their community resulting in discrimination and anger from their neighbors, classmates and even family members. We follow Matthew as he tries his hardest to earn the compassion and respect of his community: speaking in a soft, friendly way, constantly sporting a calm smile, and generally just being a good dude in the face of oppression. It is only when Matthew and his friend Clementine meet two older Children of the Black Sun from the first event that the kids realize what their true potential might be.
"Vampires, right?" But like, no. It doesn't seem to be vampires.
"So, the kids of the Black Sun are malicious, yeah?" I don't think so, no. Maybe? But it seems more like the world around them is malicious.
"Another Black Sun is coming, though, right?" Hard to say. After living through a pandemic, paranoia and societal infighting is scary enough without a big eldritch ball in the sky.
This is a nifty book. It's dark, dreary and oddly relatable. It hits on discrimination, specifically how painful it is being a child dealing with discrimination and having little control over it. Is it fantasy, is it horror, is it sci-fi: I honestly don't know. Super unique and fascinating, definitely gonna be a fun one to keep up with.
Black Cloak #1 (w: Kelly Thompson, a: Meredith McClaren)
Publisher: Image Comics
Good gracious, what an insanely cool book.
Black Cloak is a procedural crime drama set in a cyberpunk fantasy world full of corrupt elite, class conflicts and discrimination. This thick first issue drips with delightful world building as Thompson and McClaren carefully define the laws and layers of this beautifully dangerous world. We follow detective Phaedra Essex, a member of the law-enforcement agency known as the Black Cloaks, as she investigates the murder of her childhood friend and former lover. The murders pile up as Essex and her partner Pax dig deeper into the case. Eventually, Phaedra's own history is thrown into the mix as she has to meet with the victim's mother, the Elf Queen. We slowly learn about Phaedra's complicated history with her elven kin, namely that for some reason she's been exiled and they don't take very kindly to her presence.
This is just such a fantastic book. The story itself feels compelling and mysterious. The pacing through this first issue is spot on, providing enough additional detail to grasp your attention while leaving a strong air of mystery to keep you wanting more. McClaren's art is wonderfully adorable and fun, conflicting with the tone of the narrative in a way that provides a very interesting vibe to the book; one that challenges your initial preconceptions of the style at every twist and turn. Somehow magically, the art style fills the requirement for griminess and darkness expected by crime dramas or cyberpunk stories without dragging the whole tone down with it. It's a wonderfully playful art style and I'm glad I got to experience McClaren's work in such a fun setting.
It's a fun book, page after page, an absolute winner.
Gangster Ass Bartender #1 (w: Pat Shand, a: Renzo Rodriguez)
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Our pal Pat Shand continues making fun stories with fun characters.
Spinning out of one of our absolute favorite titles, Destiny NY, comes a story following Trinity, the foul-mouthed, Irish thug who is trying to turn over a new, less violent leaf as a barista. The first issue features illicitly earned money, the struggles of customer service, an annoying coworker, lady bikers, rotisserie chickens and more! It's a stellar, ultra-fun first issue for anyone looking for a character driven story grounded in a completely realistic and relatable world (give or take some details).
What I love so much about the Destiny, NY world and more expansively about Pat Shand's writing as a whole is how incredibly detailed all the characters get in just a few panels. It's admittedly been a while since I've read anything Destiny related, but diving in I instantly knew Trinity's motivations, her hopes and dreams, the subtle things that pull her forward, all of it. Destiny, NY, and by extension Gangster Ass Barista, should be taught in creative writing classes as examples of developing fleshed out, real characters quickly and efficiently. It makes these stories so much more endearing and compelling than a lot of the books I've read. 10 out of 10.
Moseley #1 (w: Rob Guillory, a: Sam Lotfi)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
I'll admit that I'm getting a little burned out on the techno-dystopian theme in comics. It seems that everywhere you turn, you're hit with a book about a dreary future where people are slaves to technology and our main character is somehow more enlightened than others but that just means the people they care about treat them like a luddite but then they turn out to be right and blah blah technology bad, put down your phones millennials and zoomers.
This book was in that category for me and I spent most of the first bits just eye-rolling and "here we go again"-ing. Then the last like 8 pages happen and suddenly I'm enthralled. Possible mysticism or some sort of human spirit, I don't truly know WHAT I'm looking at, but the "I'm enlightened that's why I do everything the hard way and discriminate against the status quo" character is suddenly a lot more neato. It felt reminiscent of the way I felt about "Do A Powerbomb" which went from fun character piece to whacky necromantic thrill ride in it's last two pages.
Rob Guillory does a good job keeping interest up in the first few pages with solid character writing and a veil of mystery as to what Moseley's role in the new world order actually is. The bloody knuckles ending of this book just adds to the overall mystery of the world, leaving the reader ever curious as to what makes Moseley so wonderfully special and what his goals will be going forward. I would love to see this book introduce some grey area. Make it so that Moseley's mystical crusade against technology isn't necessarily right or wrong. Make the robot overlords generally benevolent, even if at times misguided. There is a lot of really cool storytelling potential here and it is definitely a book for thrill seekers.
Changing the timeline, one coitus session at a time...
This book, while definitely on the spicier side, is an excellent deviation from the more traditional sci-fi romps we've taken in recent comic titles. It's time travel, it's aliens, it's pocket universes - but also, none of those features feel like they overwhelm what's ultimately a story about love, family, and being honest to oneself. It gets pretty deep, but it's worth it, we promise.
Glasses that offer more than X-Ray vision...
Two Graves #1 (w: Genevieve Valentine, a: Ming Doyle, Annie Wu)
Publisher: Image Comics
I can't guarantee that I totally understand exactly what is happening in this book, but I find myself completely drawn into it. It's enigmatic in the ways that comic classics like Sandman are: cool and mysterious with emotions lingering just on the edge of the narrative, out of reach and building a strange tension. It's a dark book that ruminates on death at every corner, and in both tone and art style, it drips late '90s/ early '00s indie works.
A man with a smoky face and a young woman with a nihilistic streak are journeying to the east coast so she can lay her mother to rest. In the middle, we see them enacting vengeance for the dead, visiting people at the end of their life, and floating on a cliffside. We are unsure of the relationship of the two, and it seems they themselves don't truly know the nature of it. There are allusions to Greek myths, discussions of the nature of death and a general bleak romanticism permeated through the pages. The alternating art provides a unique flip-flopping of perspective throughout, giving the world each character exists in its own specific vibe.
From the title, I went in expecting another vengeance story in the style of a Brubaker title or a modern western like Undone by Blood. I suppose there is still room for this kind of story to develop, but the supernatural elements and ties to myth were a very nice surprise.
Specs #1 (w: David M. Booher, a: Chris Shehan)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
On the surface, Specs is a pretty straightforward "Kids on Bikes" story that flips the formula a bit by making the focus on things the kids themselves do instead of things happening in the world around them. In the '80s, two high school best friends are living their lives as outcasts. Our main character, Kenny, is struggling with his sense of identity as he navigates high school as a young gay man, a fact he keeps hidden from everyone around him, including his best friend, Teddy, who he confesses to being in love with. Meanwhile, Teddy is the only black student at his school, and his family appears to be one of the few, if not the only, black families in the town. The two deal with the expected amount of high school bullying that is common in these stories, but they stick together and do their best to defend each other. One day, Kenny receives a pair of wish-granting specs from one of those novelty ads found in an old comic book that belonged to his brother (who it seems has been kicked out of their home). They dive into the expected whacky antics of using the specs to get small amounts of cash, pass tests, win at video games, and many other silly 1980s shenanigans. They realize that the specs can't grant wishes too large, so things have to stay small. That is until the local bully, Skunk, comes at them with a knife and Teddy pushes a bit too hard.
Beyond that, Specs is a story about being disenfranchised in small town America. It's a story about what its like to get wins in a world that tries as hard as it can to keep you from success. Any win, however small it may be, feels magical or miraculous. It's a story about living under the weight of having to hide who you are, or the pain of not being able to hide who you are in a world that looks down on you for it. The struggles Teddy and Kenny have to endure are incredibly relatable to a lot of people, making their journey with the magic specs a fantasy deep from the hearts of those same people. David M. Booher is producing some of the finest queer stories in comics these days, and this is certainly not one to miss.
Knockturn County #1 (w: James E. Roche, a: Axur Eneas)
Publisher: Scout Comics
The first issue of Knockturn County consists of two stories under the premise of "Dr. Seuss but DARK." The first story plays out much as you'd expect: It's a story of drugs and murder and deceit all done in the cartoony art style and simplistic rhyme structure of a Dr. Seuss book. While it's fun, it's pretty generic as far as stories go. It's a noir tale about a cop falling for the girlfriend of a mob boss and ends about the way you'd expect. This story admittedly almost made me stop reading in that it was just too generic. We have seen so many "kids-focused IP but DARK" stories that rarely do more than just make the character do drugs and get naked. As such, I figured this book was going to just be another flash in the pan as many of its predecessors were. Then I got to story #2.
The second story in this book is about abuse, plain and simple, and while it is simplistic by nature in its structure, there is so much being said subtly about the ramifications of abuse and the effects it has on a child's mind. It was horribly dark and not an uplifting story at all, but it was an amazing use of a very specific storytelling style to portray something powerfully. It was fascinating to experience and I hope the rest of the stories in this series tackle equally as important subjects. This is published under Scout's "Nonstop!" imprint, so the next we'll see of Knockturn County will be a full trade paperback, which I definitely plan to pick up.
Just let people buy good books!
Orc Island #1 (w: Joshua Dysart, a: Alberto Ponticelli)
Publisher: Bad Idea
As with all Bad Idea titles, I am gonna preface by saying DO NOT BUY THIS THIRD PARTY YOU ARE OVERPAYING AND FEEDING INTO A SYSTEM SPECIFCALLY MANIPULATED BY BAD IDEA'S GIMMICKY STYLE.
Anyway, now that that's out of the way, this book was incredible. I am endlessly frustrated that some of the coolest, most unique stuff is coming out of a company whose sole focus seems to be making comics as predatory as possible for a laugh.
Orc Island is a familiar fantasy story in a lot of ways. A young street rat Half-Elf lives in a world of extreme economic disparity. The poor get to live in lower, filthy places called "shit alley" while the "High Patriarchs" live on floating temples of elegance and debauchery. One day, our main character, Cerrin Son Sion, is given the opportunity to earn some money fighting for the entertainment of the Patriarchs. He does a stunning job, though is nearly executed for saying some offensive things in the court. Having lost any opportunity to fight again, he is approached by a woman with a dangerous proposition: they are adventuring to Orc Island to collect skulls.
Again, a familiar fantasy premise of impoverished rascal is granted opportunity they never would have expected, but what sets Orc Island apart is two-fold. First, the bleakness of it. Cerrin is not a hopeful dreamer, he is a nihilist. His attitude and criminal actions are all in response to his no longer caring if he lives or dies. He isn't adventuring because he feels like he was made for more than what his life in poverty grants him, as many fantasy heroes do. He is adventuring because he feels he has nothing to lose. This unique and weirdly refreshing pessimism is then supported by Ponticelli's absolutely stunning art and character design. AT first glance, this feels like another "Fantasy but the Future" book in the vein of Shadowrun or the many books that take this approach. However, as you move through it, you see that while some modern or more futuristic styling exists, it all still remains archaic and magical. It's a very interesting style where everything feels so advanced and yet so medieval. The floating temples, for example, feel like many sci-fi vessels we've seen in the past, and yet they are effectively just slabs of marble levitating through the power of teams of sorcerers who are eventually driven mad from their service. Honestly, it feels very Warhammer 40K at times, just with less oil and cable. The characters are all brightly colored in various shades, and Matt Hollingsworth's colors make this elaborate magical world absolutely pop. I love the brightness as it works against the bleakness of the narrative. It's a dissonance that doesn't detract from the story but instead serves to enhance the mystique of the world we're experiencing.
There is a backing story by Mike Carey (w) and Kano (a) that is about Noah's Ark and is absolutely hilarious. I would be remiss if I didn't mention it as well and give it a big ol' thumbs up.
One day, if Bad Idea just stopped the gimmicks and printed comics, they would go down as one of the best publishers to exist in the industry ever. Unfortunately, we're already too into the gimmicks, so thus is life. If you're able to get your hands on Bad Idea books, I recommend. If you local doesn't carry them and/or hoards them until they're able to sell them online, pass and go find something else to read. Also, maybe report your shop to Bad Idea for giggles.
Behold, Behemoth #1 (w: Tate Brombal, a: Nick Robles)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
A social worker and a child at the brink of the apocalypse.
After the death of his brother, Greyson finds himself plagued with visions. He's losing time and seeing horrible, dark things. He sees monsters and demons. He see himself fighting back, destroying his enemies. At the same time, a young girl he's responsible for checking on finds herself without a family. She finds herself caught in a web of violence and destruction. All the while, the world crumbles around them both.
This book is wonderful, no other words to say. It's another book with a unique look on apocalypse storytelling, similar to Last House on the Lake, that focuses as much energy on the actual ending world as it does on the ended world. It's a deep, dark and painful read. I love it so much.
The Ones (w: Brian Michael Bendis, a: Jacob Edgar)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
I'm gonna start by saying that I am not offended by the F-word. I use it plenty in my day to day, probably well more than I should. That said, someone needs to take that word away from BMB. I feel like every new indie title I read from Bendis is just panel after panel of F's. He is one of those writers that we've talked about in the past that likes to throw it into the middle of words and it just makes the whole bit of dialogue cringe and awkward. I challenge you, Bendis, to write ONE book with no F-Bombs. See what you can do, friend.
All f***ing-griping aside, this book was pretty awe-f***ing-some. This book follows a man creating a team of heroes in order to stop a great evil from consuming the world. The catch is that all the heroes are "chosen ones," or people with some form of prophetic or fate-determined heroism. The group itself is comprised of a series of familiar pastiches, from Superman to Buffy to a man filling the trope of "chosen one baby" who never did anything beyond being a baby who was a chosen one. It's a fun cast of characters, and Edgar's design for them is rooted in our familiarity but with just enough uniqueness to feel fresh and fun. I personally think this is some of Bendis's better character writing I've seen. The characters seem very unique from one another and there isn't a ton of Bendis's own voice draped over them, which is a trend in his writing that I know divides some people. So, F-Bomb addiction aside, I think this is a slam dunk for BMB. The overall "mission" of the group is a bit bland and not anything we've not really seen before, but I'm hoping that the fun cast of characters working together and perhaps some creative writing choices keep everything feeling fresh.
Nature's Labyrinth #1 (w: Zac Thompson, a: Bayleigh Underwood)
Publisher: Mad Cave Comics
It's like Cube by way of Squid Games, and I mean that in the best way. Sure, there are some beats from both that crop up, but it's issue one and those things are somewhat necessary for establishing the stakes of a story like this. It's forgiveable.
Nature's Labyrinth sees the winners of some kind of tournament from all over the world finding their way onto a cruise ship. They party and chat, drink and dance. Eventually, they are invited to dine with the captain, and then things take a sharp turn. When the drugs wear off, they find themselves on an island somewhere, split into small groups, and then the rules of the game are explained to them.
Again, it's nothing revolutionary, but there are some mysteries afoot that I always find compelling whenever we get a story like this. I think Thompson and Underwood have done a good job making an interesting cast of characters, and our main protagonist is compelling in a stoic action hero kind of way. We learn a small tidbit about her later that makes things even more interesting. The highlight of the whole thing is Bayleigh Underwood, who is just an absolutely delightful artist. I first experienced their work in Marvel Action Thrillers, and I truly hope to see them more. The art in this book is loud and fast-paced, with moment of action sweeping smoothly from panel to panel. Underwood's drastic choices in the anatomy of characters builds such a bizarre and almost absurd world, and I am stoked to see them design even more deadly traps deep in the labyrinth.
Face melting - no sick guitar riffs required.
It's our last episode for spooky season, and we're capping off with a goopy, gross, funny, and poignent title in Dissolving Classroom - the most recent anthology from one of Cover B's favorites, Junji Ito. It's weird and over-the-top, but still does a great job of calling out the ongoing trend of disingenuous apologies we see and experience a lot of the time. Get your candy, light your pumpkin, and join us for another spooky time!
The internet can be a dark and nasty place...
Lovesick #1 (w/a: Luana Vecchio)
Publisher: Image Comics
I almost didn't write about this one because I was having a hard time organizing my thoughts. This book is weirdly powerful in a lot of different ways. First, much like Piskor's Red Room, it takes a look at a (possibly) dramatized idea of these dark corners of the internet and the horrible things people say or do there. While I'll leave the validity of "red rooms" up to those more familiar with the Dark Web than I, I have seen first hand the disgusting things people can say online when protected by a wall of anonymity. In books like this, it's always the realness of the chatrooms that hits me. I admit to feeling a bit triggered at first in a "wow, they're gonna really GO there" kinda-way, but it's worth it. What seems like shock for shock's sake is an important call out. If you've never experienced some of the more hate-filled corners of the internet space, it might be easy to write off the things said in the chat windows of these books as over-the-top or unrealistic, but it's really not. It's time we start making these communities, these hate-filled men the true villains of the story. Much in the way the She-Hulk made the more misogynistic side of Marvel fandom the literal villains of her series, so too do these books shine a light on these dark, vitriolic communities. Sure, it's no secret that the internet is full of shitty people, but too often I feel it just gets written off as "trolls" and not taken as seriously as it should. Our art and media should reflect that reality, that danger.
This book also takes a wild look at consent as a concept. CAN consent have a dark side? What happens if you consent to too much and lose yourself along the way? Whose responsibility is it to dial you back? In this book we have men gleefully signing up to be victims of torture and murder. They want their final moments to be broadcast to an audience of thousands. They consent to this fully and are given what they ask for. We know little about the process at the moment, but it's assumed that there are lists and rules. I think there is an incredible analysis here both of the nature of social media and how it relates to things like violence and suicide, namely the idea that people will do incredible things for so called "clout," but also the idea of consent as a weapon wielded by a group of women. I won't get too involved in picking this analysis apart here (though I'm tempted to do a deeper dive if I'm being honest), but there is something to be said about the shift in power dynamic of women demanding consent from men to perform horrible acts, whereas the inverse in our real world often finds consent ignored, dissected, or discarded.
Finally, I think the character of Domino is absolutely fascinating and refreshingly unique. In the back pages of the book, Vecchio discusses her early concepts and sketches for the character. She mentions that a friend of hers once asked why the character always looks so sad. It's that morose quality that fascinates me. Often characters in these spheres, either that of BDSM communities or of the darker and deadlier internet side, exist as one of two tropes: the repressed and rage-filled animal or the playful, lusty controller. Domino holds more of a somber quality. She seems to want to do what she's doing, and certainly seems to enjoy it, but her focus seems to be more on the emotions and results of the action than the action itself. In a way, I liken her to more of a Pinhead character than that of a lingerie-clad slasher. She seeks to give something back to those she performs her work on. She also seems to want something in return, and I am excited to watch Vecchio perform a deep analysis on this character.
Sara Lone #1 (w: Erik Arnoux, a: David Morancho)
Publisher: Sumerian Comics
A story of mobs, murder and mystery. Joy Carruthers, whose stage name is Sara Lone, is called back to Texas from New Orleans with the death of her father, who was found gruesomely murdered on a beach. This kicks off a series of events that finds Joy in the crosshairs of the mob, manipulated by a shady federal agent, and wrapped up in a potentially cursed treasure. This book has a lot going for it, from a very nostalgic (at times old-fashioned) serial feel to a very pleasant art style. It's a hefty, text forward book and is definitely worth checking out for noir fans out there. Sure, at times it relies a bit too heavily on themes of it's period, basically turning every male character into a manipulative piece of crap, but I'm interested to see if going forward the creators let Joy shine as a strong, driven female lead. They've laid the foundation for an eventual rise above the misogyny, but we don't see it happen in book one. Still, this was a fun read, and there are a whole bunch of threads happening that will be fun to see conclude.
Damn Them All #1 (w: Simon Spurrier; a: Charlie Adlard)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Well then - I guess Si didn't feel like he was done with Constantine, either. Remember how mad I was when it ended, and I wanted more? Remember when I complained because it was basically my favorite book and I felt we just didn't get enough and that only Spurrier truly understood how to write that grumpy bloke the right way? I'm getting the vibe he felt similarly.
This has all that tasty, foul-mouthed, magic-doer goodness, but gives us a female "protag" (heavy air-quotes there, for now anyway) in Ellie, who works for a bunch of mobsters and has about the same level of self deprecation that big John C. always had. It's all that spicy UK underworld stuff mixed with demonic underworld stuff and I'm just so excited this book is happening I'm not really sure what to do with myself. If this book could last forever? I'd be down. If they wanted to give it a TV show? Even-bloody-better.
Justice for Ice Cream Man! Stupid Quibi...
It's been flop after failure-to-launch after cancellation when it comes to comic adaptations lately, and boy has it left some pretty big sticks in our collective craws. Today, we're talking about the three things that keep blocking the successful paths of comic IPs to the big or silver screens: a lack of marketing, good writing, and advocacy.
Okay, I don't write comics, but if I did, they'd have a samurai...
Hack/Slash Hot Shorts One Shot (w: Tim Seeley, Daniel Leister, a: Felipe Sobreiro, Triona Farrell, Carlos Badilla)
Publisher: Image Comics
Look, I'm always gonna want to talk about Hack/Slash. This series is one of my long standing favorites and while it hasn't always been perfect, I just can't get enough. This book features 3 short stories set in the H/S universe. The first follows Johnny Cash (not named such in the story but obviously Johnny Cash) as he has a weird vision of Elvis's death at the hands of demons and/or otherworldly beings. He decides at that point to dedicate to fighting evil. Story #2 is simply Cassie and Vlad, seemingly early in their relationship, washing blood off each other. The final story follows Mary Shelley Lovecraft, a reality skipping villain who feeds on fiction, who has found herself trapped in a superhero universe and absolutely hates it. The stories themselves are definitely more targeted at the fans of H/S, as I don't know if they'd be as fun if you didn't already have some familiarity with the content. That said, it's Halloween time, so some fun little bite-sized tales of a sexy monster hunter can't be so bad. Also, there's a bunch of Dynamite cameos, so that's neat.
The Approach #1 (w: Jeremy Haun, Jason A. Hurley, a: Jesus Hervas, Lea Caballero)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
It's like 30 Days of Night meets the Thing.
This book has a really cool premise right off the bat. A small airport is receiving a plane for of passengers that got diverted in a snow storm. They go through the motions and we see that they are clearly not prepared for this kind of emergency. As they are taking in the passengers, a mysterious single-engine plane crashes to the runway. They manage to pull out the pilot, who unfortunately perishes from his injuries. What chaotic night, right?
As the power goes out, the crew prep for a long, cold night. At least it couldn't get worse.
Until the tower researches the tail number on that small plane... and someone goes to check on the deceased pilot...
Hitomi #1 (w: HS Tak, a: Isabella Mazzanti)
Publisher: Image Comics
Oh dang, this is a cool book. A samurai tale of vengeance and regret. We follow a young girl on her journey through the cold mountainlands as she seeks out a samurai that killed her family. Meanwhile, we follow said Samurai as he is currently older and employed as a sumo wrestler, traveling with his small group from town to town in hopes of earning a charter back home. Eventually, the two paths collide as the Samurai saves the girl from frigid waters, unaware that her quest ends in his blood.
This book was described as a Kurosawa/Tarantino fusion, and I can't honestly think of a more fit description. The art is absolutely beautiful, just dripping with respect for the culture and history of the world in which the story takes place. This is some top tier comic work and it is NOT one to miss.
Chilling Adventures of Salem (One-Shot) (w: Cullen Bunn, a: Dan Schoening)
Publisher: Archie Comics
You can always count on Cullen Bunn to come in with a Halloween goodie, and you guys know I can't pass up an Archie Horror book. This one is simple, classic, and perfectly paced - Sabrina's cat Salem, who was formerly a magician/warlock who got bound to being a cat for doing something nefarious, finds out someone is trapping demonic entities inside people's lost pets. Normally I shudder at this kind of thing, being an animal-lover and all, but I can't get mad when the bad guy gets what's coming to him. The art is that same delicious vintage-gothic-Sabrina flavor, and the writing is perfect for the spooky season. A quick read, but a good one to get you in the Halloween mood.
As beautiful as the jazz it portrays...
As two English majors talking about media on a weekly basis, it is super exciting when we get a graphic novel like this one that gives us something to really sink out teeth into. This book is beautiful, creative, subjective, and leaves so much up to the reader. From the use of color, to the nonsequential storytelling, to the subtle weaving of music the whole way through, this title has so much to offer. Definitely not one to miss!
Cover B Podcast
Chris & Tee host this weekly comic-focused show, providing insight on new comics, entertainment news and more.