Question Authority!

The Question #37

Yet another revival of a long-cancelled comic as part of the “Blackest Night” crossover. In this one, Renee Montoya, the new Question, and Tot Rodor, longtime scientific assistant to the Questions, know that Vic Sage, the original Question, is almost certainly going to return as a zombified Black Lantern. But first, they have a little problem with Lady Shiva. She once beat Vic to death years ago, just to prove she could, then revived him so she could do a little gloating. She’s a twisted little gal, ain’t she? Anyway, she’s decided she wants to give Renee the same treatment, which is just darn rude. And of course, Vic makes his big resurrection during their fight and turns on them both. Lady Shiva manages to clear her mind of all emotion, making her invisible to the emotion-seeking zombie. Can Renee and Tot do the same, or are they both heading for a dirtnap?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nicely small-scale story, told with a near-claustrophobic focus. The entire story is told within a fairly small building on a fairly small island on a dark, rainy night with only four characters — it’s perfect for keeping a tight, terrifying spotlight on the characters and the action. Just an all-around fun story.

The Secrets of Sarah Winchester #1

Okay, I’m an utter sucker for anything having to do with the Winchester Mystery House, which has a backstory bizarre enough to be a comic book entirely free of embellishment. But in this case, Dan Vado and Drew Rausch have embellished it a bit. We start with version of the famous mansion that’s a bit less of a tourist attraction and a bit more of a genuine haunted house. A couple of snooping teens come along wanting to catch a glimpse of the weird old deserted house and are suitable awed by its colossal size. They run into the caretaker and ask to be allowed to look the place over, but he tells them he doesn’t have the key — the house has to be opened by someone — or something — from the inside. And as bad luck would have it, the things inside the house would indeed like to entertain visitors, leading to the mysterious and entirely fatal disappearance of two snooping teens. A flashback to the 1800s follows, as a medium warns Sarah Winchester that she’s been cursed by the spirits of everyone killed with a Winchester firearm, and the only way to escape the curse is to spend the rest of her life pouring her fortune into the ongoing construction of a mansion in California. And then a jump back to the present, as a cop investigating the disappearance of the teenagers has her own encounter with the ghosts in the house… but with a twist that startles the caretaker.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Vado is a big fan of the Winchester mansion and its legend, and he and Rausch have crafted a nice, creepy story about one of the most celebrated weird houses in the country, along with some beautiful, freaky artwork. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to read the rest of this series.

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