Archive for January, 2013

Baby Time


Love and Capes: What to Expect #6

Well, everyone wants to find out when Abby and Mark’s baby is going to be born and whether it’s a boy or a girl… but you’re gonna have to wait ’til the end of the issue for that, of course. Between now and then, we’ll also get to find out who Darkblade will pick as his new protege, as well as Abby’s plan to save her bookstore — and how her sister Charlotte is going to help. But of course, the bulk of the story focuses on the soon-to-be-born baby. Crusader arranges for Major Might to back him up if there are any crises when the baby’s due — and he’s also considering giving up his powers so he can focus on being a father. And of course, the Chlorodrones pick that moment to invade the Earth. Will Abby’s baby be born okay? Is it a boy or a girl? And who’s the secret, entirely unexpected guest star who shows up?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An extraordinarily fun comic. Lots of great dialogue, humor, and even low-grade suspense — and not just about the childbirth, either. I know I say this about a lot of comics, but — why the heck aren’t more of y’all reading this one?


Finding Gossamyr #3

Jenna and Denny are still stuck in the fantasy world of Gossamyr, in and out of danger. They meet some new friends, particularly Azune D’Tall, a big green ogre-lookin’ dude, and they show that both of them have some skills that make them useful in this setting. Denny’s vast mathematical genius allows him to work magic here, while Jenna’s medical training lets her heal people and animals without needing magic. But there are still many wonders and dangers they have to get through — ships that can sail up mountains, rock-skinned rhinos, and much more. Can they find a place of sanctuary from the enemies pursuing them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action and a real sense of wonder and amazement throughout the whole story. I love the idea of a world where math is magic, and I love the fact that the completely mundane, non-magical character still has skills that let her contribute to the adventure.

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Blood Blooms


American Vampire #34

This is the final issue of this series… at least for a while. It’s going on a hiatus for a few months so writer Scott Snyder can work on a Superman comic. To which I say Bah. BAH! Right now, any American Vampire comic is more important than any Superman comic.

Anyway, this issue is set several years after the previous issue, as Abilena Book, former agent of the Vassals of the Morning Star, living incognito in New Mexico, gets a visit from Gene Hunting, nephew of Will Hunting, the bookkeeper (not an accountant, more of a historian) for the current Vassals group. They don’t particularly hit it off, at least not initially. Gene needs information about the future, and Abilena has become something of a fortuneteller after an encounter years ago with an exotic snake-like vampire. Gene needs to learn about someone ominously called the Gray Trader, but Abilena tells him she won’t be able to help him. And Gene may not survive to the end of the story anyway…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Obviously a place-saver and teaser for whatever will come after the comic’s hiatus. Still, it’s tantalizing, suspenseful, fairly action-packed, and pretty darn scary, too. I hope the next few months pass quickly so I can get back to enjoying this brilliant comic again.


The Hypernaturals #7

Much of our focus is on the galactic supervillain Sublime. Among other things, we learn his origin, which is suitably horrifying and tragic, and we begin to get some hints about how he thinks he can solve the question of what happened to the previous Hypernaturals team and how to fix the Chernovski situation. Can his plans be trusted? Do they dare recreate Chernovski? And is Sublime’s even more evil twin thinking several levels ahead of all of them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wild, crazy, brain-expanding sci-fi superheroics with a heavy dose of action and characterization. These are all good things and something we should all want to see a lot more of. Keep your fingers crossed that this one enjoys a proper level of success.

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To Rule in Hell


Hellboy in Hell #2

Hellboy continues his trek through Hell, guided by a trio of spirits — who may not actually have his best interests in mind. He is shown the seats of power, which he insists he will never accept, they offer him the chance to murder Satan himself in his eternal sleep, they show him the damned as they are forged into Hell’s army, and they show him his conception, his birth, and the creation of his Right Hand of Doom. What revelations lie ahead? And what temptations?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m really enjoying the history and the heavy gravity of what we’re seeing in this story — but I still gotta say, I’m most enjoying seeing Mike Mignola drawing Hellboy again. That don’t happen much anymore, and it’s a glorious thing to behold.


Colder #3

Nimble Jack is on the trail of Declan, the ice-cold immortal, and Reece, his former caregiver. He wants to drive Reece insane, then eat her soul — and she and Declan are the only people who can see him. Declan drags Reece back into the world inside crazy people to escape, but Nimble Jack is able to follow them there, too. Desperate for a way to get away, Declan uses his abilities to make the crazy people around him even crazier, so Jack will eat them instead, but that ends up causing too much upheaval and wrecking the crazy world around them. They escape back to the real world… but it was never a real escape at all. Reece may really be crazy now, giving Nimble Jack a surefire beacon he can follow back to them.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nicely disturbing stuff all over this issue. Colossal surrealism and suspense, too. You can hardly blame Reece for feeling crazy, ’cause reading through this comic will make you feel a little unbalanced, too.

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God Gave Rock ‘n Roll to You


Punk Rock Jesus #6

Much of the final issue focuses on Thomas McKael, the former IRA terrorist who became the security chief for the J2 project. We see his past, captured by the police and learning for the first time that his father planned to turn evidence against the IRA to keep his family safe. But Thomas’ uncle killed his parents to turn him into the terrorist he thought he should be. Soon enough, Thomas escapes from jail, heads for home and kills his uncle, then turns himself back in to the cops, where he has a vision of the Virgin Mary, who warns him that if he ever takes another life, she’ll send him to Hell.

But back to the present. Chris, the kid who may be the clone of Jesus Christ, and his punk rock band, the Flak Jackets, are preparing to play a concert in Jerusalem, just to anger as many religions as they can. And they’re entirely successful — someone shoots a rocket at them and kills their lead guitarist, and extremists kidnap Chris. Thomas saves him, but only by killing a number of other terrorists. Distraught, he asks Chris if he’s really the Son of God, or if he’s just damned himself for no reason. Chris scuttles the tour.

Slate, meanwhile, destroys the J2 complex to protect himself from criminal prosecution, leading Chris, Dr. Epstein, and her daughter Rebekah to go on TV to announce the bombshell revelation that Rebekah is actually Chris’ twin sister. The news prompts the New American Christians to attack the studio. Can everyone escape, or will someone make the ultimate sacrifice?

Verdict: Thumbs up. If I’ve got a complaint, it’s that it ends too abruptly. But I think that’s a minor nitpick, because this is still a glorious, visceral, action-packed read. The whole series has always teased blasphemy, but it’s said a lot more important stuff about belief, friendship, duty, and family. It’s a great series — I hope you got to read it all the way through, but if you didn’t, keep your eyes peeled for the trade paperback.


Batman Inc. #6

Batman goes after Talia, the head of Leviathan, to try to get her to leave Gotham and Damian alone. Nothing doing — she wants Batman dead, she wants Batman Inc. dead, she really wouldn’t mind too much seeing Damian dead. Will Batman be able to survive the hordes of cloned Man-Bats, fanatical cultists, and brainwashed children attacking him? Will the Knight, the Squire, Halo, Looker, Freight Train, and Batwing live or die? Will the rest of the Bat-family ever even leave the Batcave?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An extremely action-packed and tense story. And I’ll be honest, I don’t really care much whether Batman or Damian survive — it’s their comic, and they’re popular, money-making characters, so of course they’ll survive. But dang, I’m nervous about the survival chances of the Knight and Squire…

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