Who doesn't love a good slasher?
Monarch #1 (w: Rodney Barnes, a: Alex Lins)
Publisher: Image Comics
On its surface, this is a story about kids surviving a horrific alien invasion.
At its heart, this is a story about the difficulties of finding love and peace in a harsh world full of violence and hate. It's about the things that the world shapes us to be in the face of all that. How refusing to let go of isolated moments in our life can destroy us. Monarch is a story about hope as much as it is a story about the lack thereof.
It's a cool book and I'm wary to say too much about the story itself to take away any of the impact. The art is wonderful and shockingly visceral. The characters are sweet and their pain resonates with the reader. Barnes and Lins have hit on some magic with this one. Go pick it up.
Harrower #1 (w: Justin Jordan, a: Brahm Revel)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
A nice, straight-forward slasher that seems to be setting up some significant beats dealing with PTSD, loss and conviction.
Harrower takes place in the town of Barlowe, New York: a town gripped by superstition. Legends in this town tell of the Harrower, an avenging spirit sent to punish the wicked. On Halloween night, as all the adults prepare to attend the Harvest Gala, Jessa and her friends are preparing for a night of high school debauchery. However, this particular Harvest Gala feels especially grim, being the ten year anniversary of a massive tragedy that rocked the town. We don't know much about what occurred, but Jessa lost her brother, and others in the town also lost young family members. As all the preparation builds, we see a police officer attacked by the Harrower himself. The officer admits to wanting to reveal some sort of secret and blaming others in the town for his demise. His son, Carter, discovers the body and decides to take his father's mission into his own hands.
As I said, Harrower delivers a nice, recognizable slasher premise. Halloween night, small town, teens out to get murdered. What it provides to enhance the experience are hints of a deep web of corruption among the adults in the town and a very upsetting betrayal toward the end of the book. There is something happening - some secret behind the Harrower that will hopefully provide a very shocking reveal down the line.
This is a great book for slasher fans or people who like a good "teens getting picked off one by one" horror story. For people who need more, I feel confident that this can please them too, whether it be for the folklore elements or the general sense of intrigue.
The Finder #1 (w: Christos Gage, a: Tomas Giorello)
Publisher: Bad Idea Comics
This book is a bit more actiony than what I typically prefer, but I really dig the overall premise. I am an absolute sucker for superheroes with very subtle powers, and the Finder fits the bill.
The story follows the eponymous Finder, a woman with the power to find anyone by resonating with something they cherish, as she carries out her duties of finding a kidnapped superhero, First Responder. We learn over the course of their interaction that this world is made up of two types of powered individuals: natural powers like the Finder, and scientifically enhanced powers like First Responder. The first category of hero make up the Ground Crew, a group of heroes who perform less than glamorous duties in order to set the stage for the enhanced heroes, known as Frontliners, to claim their glory or to clean up afterward. The Frontliners themselves are mainly government pawns, enlisted and enhanced by government units to perform bombastic tasks in order to grab media attention and whatnot. It's a really fascinating world, especially for anyone who likes superhero content like The Boys and such.
The story itself is a little bland. A lot of cliché action movie badass-ering, silly lines about being too tough for their own good, etc., etc. I did like the characters and the design of the world, just some of the dialogue felt a bit too "Vin Diesel movie" for me.
Anyway, cool book overall with some great art. Dialogue choices aside, I highly recommend.
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