Down in the Dark


American Vampire: Second Cycle #5

We get a single-issue flashback 1954 in the Nevada desert. A researcher for the vampire-hunting Vassals of the Morning Star is searching for an old mining claim known as the Royal Forkes drift claim. He’d read an old journal written by a miner that referenced the claim. As the researcher looks for, finds, and descends into the old claim, we get to read the miner’s journal, as he and a friend sign on for a claim where they’re being paid a (for the time) very generous dollar per day. But the site is extremely odd. The other miners are unusually quiet, unlike the boisterous, noisy, drunken miners at other claims. The dig site is merely digging straight down into the earth, not bringing up any minerals — and in fact, bypassing veins of silver — and the foreman’s tent is tall and black, and terrible screams are heard from it every night. Did the miners ever manage to escape? And what will the researcher find at the bottom of the hole?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This is the most frightening comic I’ve read in several years. I am not kidding. I am not kidding one bit. I really don’t remember the last time I was genuinely scared reading a comic book, but this one definitely did it for me. You want a little dose of pre-Halloween scares? Go get this comic. Go get it. Go get it.


Rat Queens #8

Hey, it’s another flashback issue, this time focusing on dwarven warrior Violet, back when she was a dutiful — and bearded — daughter, modeling her family’s armor at the annual trade show while her brother gets to take part in the battle tourney. But Violet discovers something new and exciting — a dwarven woman is participating in the tournament — a woman who’s shaved her beard off! And she even wins the tournament! How will her example inspire Violet?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a really fun issue, with lots of humor, action, drama, and fantastic characterization. Violet has always been kinda a background character in the series — not as loony or hipster as the other characters, and in a lot of ways the most traditional fantasy archetype in the series. It’s great to get a focus on her so we can see what sets her apart and makes her unique.

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