So it’s time for the final issue of Chris Roberson and Michael Allred’s wonderful supernatural soap opera. Xitalu, an eldritch monster-god from between dimensions, is preparing to devour the entire world, starting with Eugene, Oregon. The treacherous mummy Amon has a plan to Xitalu away for a few centuries by having our heroine, intelligent zombie Gwen Dylan, absorb the souls of everyone in the city — including her friends and family — then he can then feed her to Xitalu so he’ll go away. Equally treacherous mad scientist/Frankenstein monster Galatea wants to download Xitalu into Frankenteen so she can gain all of Xitalu’s power for herself. As the seconds tick by and everyone gets closer to being eaten alive by Xitalu, is there any way for Gwen to save everyone?
Verdict: Thumbs up. A nicely-done ending, with lots of suspense and tension — and everyone in the cast gets at least a brief moment in the spotlight. I’m still not sure if this one got cancelled because it wasn’t selling well enough, because DC didn’t like Roberson talking smack about them, or just because DC is a bit dim (though I’d bet on that last one). But I’m glad it got 28 fun issues.
The Hypernaturals #2
In the distant future, the newest Hypernaturals superteam has just been wiped out by an unknown foe. The temporary replacement team — Bewilder, Thinkwell, Halfshell, and Shoal — finds themselves under assault by a flesh mob, a bunch of regenerating monsters made of all the debris around them. They’re able to escape — barely — but it leaves them with some serious problems: one of their greatest foes, Sublime, is apparently back, their current team is missing and presumed dead, and the replacements include two rookies, one who overthinks everything and another who’s too hotheaded. Bewilder and Thinkwell go out to recruit some former team members, including the down-on-his-luck Clone 45, who doesn’t even have his powers anymore.
Verdict: Thumbs up. I think I’m having quite a lot of fun meeting these characters. It’s very much a Legion-of-Super-Heroes thing with the serial numbers rubbed off, but it still comes off fresh, interesting, and a lot of fun. Looking forward to plenty more.
Dial H #4
Abyss, a creature of pure darkness, has appeared in the city, and Nelson Jent, Manteau, Squid, and Ex Nihilo are unable to stop it. Abyss disappears temporarily, Squid gets shot full of holes, Manteau is captured by Ex Nihilo, and Nelson gets left behind without powers. It turns out Ex Nihilo is a doctor at the local hospital, as well as a “nullomancer” — a sorceress who specializes in magically altering nothing — literally nothing. While she tortures Manteau for information, Abyss starts wrecking downtown, and Ex Nihilo, using Manteau’s dial, goes to try to capture him. Squid, meanwhile, goes to Nelson for help — he’s wounded, maybe dying, and he wants Nelson to help him rescue Manteau and then get back to his own homeworld. But what can Nelson do when he can’t get his dial to work anymore?
Verdict: Thumbs up. Tons of stuff happening here, and it’s all wonderful fun. Scary, surreal, intense, even inspiring. China Mieville is a pretty dang good comic book writer, ain’t he?
Today’s Cool Links:
- A plenty interesting article — at least partly tongue-in-cheek — calling for fantasy writers and game-makers to start working on “humanizing the orc.”
- What if every Olympic sport was photographed like beach volleyball?
- It is always troublesome when someone calls you a bigot because your chicken sandwich tastes like Fred Phelps.