Mourning Edition

Dark Horse Presents #8

The spotlight story in this issue is the short B.P.R.D. episode where Kate Corrigan of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense discovers for the first time that Hellboy, the Bureau’s most celebrated agent, has died and learns that her own future may lie in England rather than anywhere in America. Besides that, we get a story about the Beasts of Burden meeting up with some unearthly sheep, plus the final chapter of Howard Chaykin’s “Marked Man,” the amazing “The Once and Future Tarzan” by Alan Gordon and Thomas Yeates, Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson’s “The Massive,” Martin Conaghan and Jimmy Broxton’s tribute to mad science “Time to Live,” Rich Johnston and Simon Rohrmuller’s faux-mystery “The Many Murders of Miss Cranbourne,” and the continuing postmortem adventures of “Skulltar” by M.J. Butler and Mark Wheatley.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Only a few stories that aren’t that good, but most of these are really good, really fun comics.

The Amazing Spider-Man #679

When we last left Spider-Man, New York City was just one minute away from being utterly destroyed. But now that minute has passed, and nothing happened? Obviously, the watch that Spidey used to guesstimate when the destruction happened could mean that all the destruction happened another 12 hours in the future, so the Wall-Crawler obviously has a lot more work to do. After enlisting the aid of Silver Sable to foil an attempt by Flag Smasher to nuke the city, Spidey thinks the day is saved, but his coworker Grady tells him the time portal still shows New York destroyed. But with Spidey stopping every crime he can on the off-chance that it might finally save the world, time is still running out. Is there anything that can save the city?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice done-in-two-issues story that’s packed with tension, humor, action, and everything else you need for a good Spidey comic.

Justice League International #6

In the aftermath of the JLI’s victory over Peraxxus, the team wraps up a few loose ends, disassembling the giant Signal Men robots and taking down a bunch of terrorists who’ve been attacking the UN with unexpectedly powerful bombs. Can the team persuade the Security Council that they should continue to work together? Or will the UN’s enemies have the last laugh?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Here’s the crazy thing about this comic. I recognize that it’s probably not anywhere near the best comic out there. The dialogue is awkward, the characterization is iffy, the scenarios are clumsy — but I like the main characters, I like the general gist of the stories, and I like the fact that none of the female characters are stuck wearing embarrassingly skimpy or idiotic costumes. Will that be enough to keep me reading the comic in the future? Time will tell…

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