Mystery Girl #1 is fair for a first issue. The story has much to offer in the future and could lead into something great. The ending of the issue may appear to be meek, but with Trine’s new adventure across the world there is surely room for derring-do and danger.
Joe Golem: Occult Detective #2 is gritty, witty, and dark. The characters fall into the more traditional aspects of the detective genre. Yet the supernatural elements help Joe and his cast stand out as they work their way through the mystery. It is a fun tale and an example of remarkable storytelling.
“Everything improves after the end of a war,” but what if there’s no end to war? Two Brothers begins in the days following World War II, but that’s really just the beginning of the emotional cold war that develops between Yaqub and Omar. Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá tragic family saga is about people who should be bonded together by blood but have uncrossable gulfs between them that just spread and grow with every passing year. The space that the cartoonists unfold in this comic gives the readers the room to move around in and inhabit the same spaces occupied by Yaqub and Omar.
Duty before honor seems to be the theme of this issue of Rebels. Seth and company are away taking care of business, or Red Coats, and Seth has no second thoughts about being with Mercy. He’s so driven in his resolve to follow through on his orders he’s not willing to leave for a day to see her. It’s understandable that a man like Seth would want to impress General George Washington, but the foreshadowing that his personal life will crumble is hard to watch.
Few comics sit at the intersection of “fan beloved,” “industry defining,” and “absolutely impossible to acquire” the way the EC Comics library does. For a while they almost felt like Comics’ very own Holy Grail. On one hand, you’ve got the Tales From The Crypt brand itself, which has left an indelible mark on pop culture with films, cable TV series, Saturday morning cartoons, and a line of revival graphic novels from Papercutz — a proud legacy, to be sure. But on the other hand, you enter into the more nebulous region of pop cultural osmosis, and it’s there that the legend of Bill Gaines’ little comic line that could grows to gargantuan levels. The baby boomers that ate his ghoulish “mags” up in the early ‘50s eventually grew into the genre fiction movers and shakers of the ‘70s and ‘80s — from cult directors like George Romero and Joe Dante, to lit legends like Stephen King, to blockbuster cinema wunderkinds like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and John Carpenter (Carpenter actually provides a disappointingly brief intro to this volume). You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone whose imagination hasn’t been touched either directly or indirectly by the macabre yarns from the Crypt-Keeper, the Vault-Keeper, and the Old Witch. With all that and their notorious place at the forefront of the Seduction of the Innocent controversy that practically sent the comics industry into the Dark Ages, you’d think the existence of a prestige line of EC Comics trade collections would seem like a given, right?
Rafael Albuquerque’s miniseries passion project reaches the halfway point with Ei8ht #3. The book has successfully come from being an interesting though empty time travel story and finally into a high concept pulp action adventure and if it can stick the landing it’s bound to become one of the most enjoyable comics of the year.
From the people at Dark Horse comes a five-part miniseries called Ei8ht. This story is somewhat of an abnormality, coming from the mind of Rafael Albuquerque who typically contributes to the comic book world via pencils and inks, yet this time has taken up the role of story teller alongside writer Mike Johnson. What they’ve produced is a time travel story taking place in the past, present, and future; starring an amnesiac chrononaut by the name of Joshua who’s found himself stranded in a place outside of time. It’s an interesting mystery with a somewhat lacking central character but enticing enough in concept to make up the slack.
Matt Wagner’s noir style villain Grendel has returned, and penned by the man himself! Wagner, who has in recent years completed runs on Dynamite’s Zorro and Green Hornet series, brings his classic baddie back in time to the pulp-novel settings of 1930’s New York. Hunter Rose, Grendel’s alter ego, has added to his collection of rare artifacts an urn once in the possession of the vile Shaiwan Khan. Inside the urn is an ancient scroll that, when read aloud, sends Rose back to the 1930’s. Without missing a beat, Rose begins to set up shop in New York’s seedy underworld.
It’s a bittersweet affair when one reads a Star Wars comic these days. Disney recently decided not to keep Star Wars at Dark Horse where it’s been since 1991 and instead is shipping it off to Marvel (which Disney owns) starting in 2015. This makes sense for Disney from a financial standpoint but not necessarily from a comics one.
For those readers not familiar with Axe Cop here’s a little back story. The artist Ethan Nicolle started Axe Cop as a web-comic based on his then five year old brother Malachai’s imaginative creations. Axe Cop’s popularity grew as it spawned toys, t-shirts, an expansion to the popular cardgame Munchkin, and even an animated show on FOX.
“New Rules: Part Two” picks up immediately after the previous issue left off, in the middle of a daytime brawl between Buffy and her Scoobies, and a gang of vampires who are mysteriously immune to sunlight, and who can shapeshift into ravenous animals. A daytime vampire battle is unlike anything we’ve seen in this series before, its universe in the midst of establishing a new status quo. When Buffy and Giles look through the “Vampyr” book, they notice a mostly blank book, but also new pages springing forth with new information. The rules of the vampires are currently being rewritten, and as long as there are blank pages, there are sure to be more surprises to come in regards to their abilities.