Archive for February, 2015

Squirrel Talk


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2

Galactus is coming, and only Squirrel Girl can save the world! But first she has to check out some campus clubs and realize that she has a crush on Tomas! When Tippy-Toe reveals that Galactus will arrive on Earth in just two hours, Doreen has to figure out a way to get into space fast — so she turns to her oldest ally, Iron Man — but Tony Stark is out of town, so she has to break into Stark Tower. But can she get past a horde of robot Iron Man suits?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Funny and adorable — and still filled with action and adventure! We go from punny club names and corny monologues between SG and Tippy-Toe to deliriously great splash pages of Squirrel Girl dodging lasers and later outwitting robots. This is, so far, an incredibly fun series — and it’s still early enough in its run for you to jump on board for the whole thing!


Hawkeye #21

The Bros and their pet assassin, the Clown, are about to invade Clint Barton’s apartment building, and the only thing standing in the way are Clint, his brother Barney, and just about everyone else living in the apartment, who’ve banded together to boobytrap the building to keep the Bros out. But what can one low-rent superhero, a low-rent kinda-supervillain, and a bunch of civilians do against a full-scale attack by the Tracksuit Mafia? Maybe bleed, and maybe die…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a great story, wonderful characterizations and dialogue and action, everything you want from a great siege story. Looks like we’re working our way to the end of Matt Fraction’s and David Aja’s amazing run on this comic.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • This punk band with Down Syndrome plans to go to Eurovision. I hope they win, ’cause they’re badass.
  • Every metalhead I know who’s seen these t-shirts wants them. Too bad they don’t seem to be for sale.
  • Are we sure we want to create robot preachers? If they get God on their side, the inevitable robot revolt won’t go well for us…

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The Rats in the Walls


Rat God #1

Oooooh, what’s this? New horror from Richard Corben? Yes indeedy doo, I will have all of that.

It’s an amazingly twisty story, too, starting with a pair of American Indians in the Pacific Northwest on the run from either the Tlingit tribe (which is a tribe that actually exists) or the Cthanhluk (which is a lot more eldritch and fictional). One of them is killed by the Cthanhluk, but the other manages to escape — only to make a very brief appearance on the East Coast in the 1920s. From there, we meet up with Clark Elwood who picks up a hitchhiker named Chuk — who seems to be the Indian who was killed in the distant past. Clark Elwood is a colossal racist who claims to be a pure Aryan, despite the fact that he’s almost as dark-skinned as Chuk is. In fact, Clark is in love with Chuk’s sister Kito, who he believes is white. Clark’s insulting ways lead to him getting beat up and thrown out of his own car — just as a snowstorm starts. And around the time, Clark runs face-first into a corpse stuffed into a column of snow, he gets attacked by a panther. What’s a bookish New Englander to do?

Verdict: Thumbs up. We get Corben’s amazing horror artwork wrapped around a bizarrely Lovecraftian tale of rats and time travel. We don’t know a lot about where the story is going to go from here, but what we get in this issue is a ton of creepy unease. Looking forward to more of this.


Wytches #4

Sailor Rooks’ disappearance continues to fuel turmoil. Her father finds a word (“Here”) written on his stomach which he thinks is giving him a secret message to travel to the nearby Here Coast, where a hurricane wrecked a theme park they used to go to. While he remembers his former problems with alcoholism, when he nagged Sailor into climbing a broken Ferris wheel with him, he travels to the remnants of the park and meets the old woman who attacked him in their home. She reveals that the Wytches aren’t even human, and that they have the ability to control minds — in fact, they’ve exposed her to a substance that’s inducing her to commit suicide. She tells him there’s no one he can trust, and his daughter is probably already dead. But where is Sailor? She’s trying to escape the Wytches, who have their own special tricks for ruining the Rooks’ family.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Intensely creepy stuff. Not just Sailor trying to crawl out of a pit in the ground after waking up on a pile of children’s clothing. Not just her dad demanding she climb up an old Ferris wheel for no reason. Not just an old woman killing herself while rattling on about monsters and mind control and getting her legs eaten when she was seven years old. Pretty much every page is creepy and weird — and the last page is one unholy shocker.

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Back to the Breed


Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #9

Last issue wrapped up the prequel to the movie as we finished learning the backstories of a select group of the Nightbreed. I expected that the format would continue, and we’d learn more about some of the other characters we hadn’t run into yet, but instead, the creators have jumped to the end of the movie to tell us what happened to Midian’s survivors.

The story starts from the film’s alternate ending, in which Lori kills herself and is then brought back to life by Boone, making her one of the immortal Nightbreed. Now, she’s getting accustomed to her new abilities, but she’s also prone to strange visions and may be under the periodic control of Rev. Ashberry, now at least part Nightbreed himself, but still psychotically dedicated to wiping out all monsters. The rest of the ‘Breed aren’t entirely idle. Otis has written a novel about the Nightbreed, and it’s shot up the bestseller charts, making the survivors rich enough to purchase their new Midian.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not what I was expecting, but a very pleasant surprise. I love the idea of the ‘Breed getting to go out to enjoy Halloween — and I love the way they feel more like an extended family in this issue, even the violent, animalistic Peloquin. There are still plenty of characters I’d like to learn more about — and there’s a good chance we’ll still be able to collect more backstories along the way.


Gotham by Midnight #3

The detectives from Precinct Thirteen are alerted about a little girl in Gotham County Hospital who has a problem with her shadow — namely, her shadow is an infectious smallpox monster with tentacles and fangs that can kill people through their hazmat suits. Luckily, Dr. Tarr has managed to figure out enough of the demons’ language to talk to it. Will that be enough to let the Gotham cops destroy it?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderfully weird art and a surprisingly tense story — a supernatural smallpox outbreak that can infect anyone it can touch and kill them almost instantly makes for a lot of people trying not to be touched by any spooky shadows. Plus we get a little background on Detective Lisa Drake’s past as an undercover cop.


Revival #27

Anti-government wingnut Edmund Holt continues to have his usual terrible luck — as in terrible luck for everyone else, but good luck for him. Dana Cypress planned to confront and maybe kill him for victimizing her son, but he completely accidentally gets the drop on her, takes her into custody, and plans to make her watch — and probably die from — the explosive vengeance he plans against everyone else. Meanwhile, Em Cypress is accompanying Tao and Blaine as they try to find Em’s missing lover — who they don’t actually know has been killed. Blaine tries to swim across a pond around the old mill but gets attacked by a school of reviver piranha. And what new horror do they find inside the mill?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Holy cheese, a spectacularly creepy and suspenseful story, with a few absolute suprises along the way. I really can’t get enough of how well this comic both reinforces and subverts almost every expectation you have for the story.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Does it make a lick of sense for a cartoonist like Molly Crabapple to have an FBI file that’s 7,500 pages long?
  • The Simpsons, pixelated.
  • I like to imagine that all my friends from New England are at least this crazy.
  • I don’t know what’s more horrifying: that teachers in Kermit, Texas suspended a kid for bringing a pretend ring to school, that they suspended him for bringing a science book to school that mentioned pregnancy, or that they might just be weird resentful freaks trying to make a nine-year-old kid’s life hell.

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We’d Like to Welcome You to Munchkinland


Munchkin #1

If y’all ain’t heard of the Munchkin card game from Steve Jackson Games, I’m gonna assume y’all never visit a comics shop or game store, ’cause I see those games just about everywhere. In the game, everyone plays cheating min-maxing roleplayers, always looking to stab their friends in the back to steal all the treasure. But is this something that can be turned into a monthly comic book?

What we have here is a humor anthology comic, featuring stories by Tom Siddell, Mike Holmes, Jim Zub, Rian Sygh, and card game illustrator John Kovalic. We follow a group of RPG players in game as they quest for adventure and treasure, all while trying to convince the sole normal guy among them to adopt a fighting class so he can enjoy the game. Too bad his enjoyment isn’t as much fun for the other players. Later, we meet up with Spyke, the game’s face-on-the-box and the guy on the cover, as he shows a newbie adventurer the ropes and contends with some unusual furniture. And there’s a new Munchkin card in the issue! Just for you!

Verdict: I think we’ll call this a thumbs up. No, that’s not really the most enthusiastic rating, is it? Listen, we’ve got a good comic here, with very nice cartoon art and a number of really outstanding gags. But man, I really don’t know that this should be an ongoing series. How many jokes can you make about players backstabbing each other?


Gotham Academy #4

Too many people, including the creepy Headmaster Hammer, know that Olive Silverlock sneaked into the forbidden North Hall, which means she and Maps have to act fast to solve the mystery before their activities get locked down. Olive discovers a symbol in Hammer’s office that was also included in an old book in the library. Interrogating the local weird kid gets them nowhere — but soon enough, the fearsome Ghost of Millie Jane Cobblepot appears in the girls’ window! What does the ghost reveal? What do the symbols mean? Who’s the monster hiding behind the walls?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful art, which I think we’ve talked about before. Lots of amazing jokes (and in-jokes) lurking in the background. Simon Trent, from the old Batman animated series episode “Beware the Gray Ghost,” makes an appearance. And a few secrets are revealed, even if they lead to some new mysteries.

Today’s Cool Links:

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