Light my Fire

Heralds #3

This weekly series continues with Johnny Storm apparently living in a suburban home in the desert with the spirit of Frankie Raye, former fire-slinging herald of Galactus. It’s an illusion, obviously, giving them both the opportunity to throw hot irons around, kick over burning barbecue grills, and set swimming pools on fire. Meanwhile, the rest of the Fantastic Four have found Johnny locked up inside a forcescreen chamber while he lets off a lot of fire and heat. And Hellcat, Monica Rambeau, She-Hulk, Valkyrie, and Emma Frost have brought mysterious injured waitress Frances to the Baxter Building to take advantage of Reed Richards’ high-tech healing equipment. After the heroines argue about whether or not Frances is dangerous, Reed figures out how to release Frankie Raye from Johnny’s body, and she makes a beeline for Frances. And that’s when Agent Brand shows up with a black hole gun…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice writing, good dialogue, weird science, interesting mysteries. My biggest complaint is that Tonci Zonjic‘s excellent artwork is only on the first eight pages, then the rest is all by James Harren, who does not come off well in the comparison.

Crossed: Family Values #2

There we go, people — that’s the worst cover you’re going to see all year. That is not the way you do a wraparound cover — all the other “Crossed” covers have been wraparounds, but they didn’t leave the front cover with such an awkward and unbalanced look to it. I don’t care how nice the cover looks when you lay it out flat — if it looks stupid when it’s closed and on display in your comic shop, you run the risk of potential purchasers passing it by.

As for the story, the Pratt family — a very large, very religious survivalist family — have escaped from the Crossed and established a new, more isolated, more defensible compound. Addy is helping scout the Crossed, to discover their numbers and their movements, while her father expands the compound with new recruits and survivors. They’ve even captured one of the Crossed, reduced to no more than a torso and a head, to try to learn more about their opponents. Addy has allowed herself to forget, however, that her father is an abusive pedophile with a fondness for his own daughters — and by the time she realizes that he’s up to his old tricks, her family is set up to take another severe hit.

Verdict: Man, I don’t know. It’s written well. It’s written shockingly — and that’s one of the important things for this story. But I think they’ve got too much shock and not enough horror. ‘Cause I was decently shocked by what was happening, but at no point was I scared.

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