Archive for Daredevil

The Good, the Bad, and the Atomic

AtomicRobo-GoldenCircle2

Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle #2

Robo is stranded in the Wild West — and his nuclear batteries are starting to run dry. Everyone thinks he’s some guy called Ironhide, and they expect him to be able to keep a bunch of townspeople safe — along with the notorious Doc Holliday. When the bandits torch the town, Robo, the marshal, and Holliday go to track them down, little suspecting that an unexpected enemy is waiting for them at the end of the trail.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really loving Robo in the West, and the last panel reveal of the Big Bad is excellently satisfying.

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Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #2

The Titans are trudging through the Arctic trying to find the Fortress of Solitude. They get to hang out briefly with Superman before he has to fly off to save Jimmy Olsen. They also call the various Brainiacs trying to get their shrunken treehouse back, but no luck. They also meet up with Bizarro, Match, and Bizarro-Girl — and a Bizarro Duck called DUckzarro. Man, I don’t know. Will even Superman be able to save the Titans’ treehouse?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wow, Duckzarro — I had no idea how something that crazy actually happened. I’m glad it did, though.

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Daredevil: Road Warrior

If you ever wanted to find out what happened while Matt Murdock was moving from New York City to San Francisco — and if you wanted it as its own separate one-shot comic instead of part of the regular series — well, I guess this one is for you. Matt and Kirsten McDuffie take a long train trip cross-country, and Daredevil tangles with the Man-Bull and a mysterious amnesiac shapeshifter — and with the Mad Thinker.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s especially nice to see the Mad Thinker treated as a genuine threat as well as a certified super-genius. But a big chunk of me suspects there was never any real good reason for this comic to exist. This could’ve been shoehorned into the current series without any difficulty — no reason for a special issue for it.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • We may yet get Guillermo Del Toro’s film adaptation of Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness.”
  • The always-crass DC Entertainment will put Superman’s “S” shield on everything from toys to sub sandwiches. But statues commemorating children? That doesn’t promote the brand or bring in any money.
  • Wanna get the Basic Rules for the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons — completely free? Go download the PDF right now.

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The Blind Leading the Blind

Daredevil4

Daredevil #4

Well, looks like the Shroud has betrayed Matt Murdock to the Owl, and he’s getting dropped into a below-floor furnace for his troubles. But it’s a switchup — the Shroud gets Matt’s staff to him, and he makes his escape — but the Shroud has kidnapped the Owl, desperate to learn where his ex-girlfriend is. But the Owl has a price, and he has the Shroud get him into a scientific facility with a plan to use the technology inside to make him omniscient — all-seeing and all-knowing. Daredevil intervenes, he and the Shroud fight, all while the Owl tries to harness the fancy photon tech. Can they stop the Owl in time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wonderful action, wonderful art, a nice rebirth for the Owl and maybe for the Shroud, too. Also some nice glimpses into Matt Murdock’s new fame. Not easy having no secret identity, is it, Matt?

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Red Sonja #10

Sonja has to convince the world’s greatest swordsman to come with her to prevent thousands of slaves from dying — but he doesn’t want to go, and he’s really much better with a sword than Sonja is. She never manages to hit him even once, and he leaves her completely humiliated. Is there any way for Sonja to defeat him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Again, excellent action, art, humor, and a liiiiittle bit of angst in a wonderfully written and clever story.

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Speedy Reviews for a Sick Day/Holiday

Well, I feel like complete garbage, especially considering that I get to spend a holiday sick instead of, you know, being well. So I’m going to finish these as quickly as I can so I can go away and feel like garbage somewhere else.

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Axe Cop: The American Choppers #1

Axe Cop gives up being President of the World so he can go back to fighting bad guys. He teams up with Super Axe and Captain Axe to defeat the Food Force Three and a bunch of alien monsters, then sing a song and eat some ham. They team up with Axe Girl, her mother, Axe Woman, Ralph Wrinkles, and a goat with axe horns to become… the American Choppers! But can they stop a bunch of evil axes controlled by demon lumberjacks?

Verdict: Thumbs up. So fantastically weird and funny.

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Daredevil #3

Daredevil easily whups the Shroud’s ass, then learns that it was all a scheme to get the Shroud an audience with the Owl so he could kill him. But Matt has a different plan, involving Matt just walking right into the Owl’s mansion with a subpoena. But things never work out like they plan. Meanwhile, we learn a little more about the mystery of Foggy Nelson’s “death.”

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautiful art and a delightfully convoluted story — and Foggy Nelson! I was getting worried about Foggy…

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Velvet #5

Most of this issue is a flashback to Velvet’s ex-husband, a fellow super-spy like Velvet, and how she maybe killed him or maybe didn’t because he was maybe a double-agent.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It doesn’t get the overarching mystery cleared up, but it’s a well-told and beautifully illustrated story, soaking in action and espionage coolness.

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A Voice in the Dark #7

Zoey finally breaks down and murders again — and she pulls off a couple perfect crimes — except for one little serial killer eyewitness…

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, amazing artwork. Fantastic focus on the tension and intricacy Zoey’s planning and execution of her murders.

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The Witcher #3

Geralt the Witcher encounters bunches of monsters, doesn’t trust Vara the succubus, and is strangely trusting of Jakob the hunter.

Verdict: Ehh, don’t know. It’s wonderfully moody, but it just didn’t entertain me much. It felt oddly predictable.

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Broken Mirrors

Today’s reviews feature a couple comics starring people who have their own special versions of evil twins.

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The Manhattan Projects #20

Albert Einstein is back in town and having a few maybe not-so-friendly drinks with his alternate-universe twin Albrecht Einstein. Albrecht trapped Albert in another dimension and took over his own life in the Manhattan Projects, and Albert had to fight his way across multiple horrible universes to make his way back home. Albert has always been more intelligent than Albrecht, and he’s now a heck of a barbarian warrior — is he going to be willing to forgive what his doppelganger did to him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nice to see Albert back in the series, and it’ll be interesting to see the two Einsteins hanging out.

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Daredevil #2

So there’s this blind lawyer who has super-sensory powers that let him be a superhero, and his name’s Matt Murdock. Oh, but wait, San Francisco actually has another blind lawyer who has super-sensory powers that let him be a superhero — Max Coleridge, otherwise known as the Shroud. Unsurprisingly, they don’t get along well — the Shroud is a great deal more hardcore and sociopathic than Matt is, and he’s been keeping a bunch of mid-level mobsters captive at his slum hideout so he can pump them for information. Can Matt convince the Shroud to let the men go? Only if he helps take out San Francisco’s biggest crimelord…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great art and writing. It’s fun to have these two characters who are so bizarrely similar and so uniquely different at the same time. And the cliffhanger at the end is an excellent twist. Meanwhile, what the heck really happened to Foggy Nelson?!

Today’s Cool Links:

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Shutter Island

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Shutter #1

Kate Kristopher is the daughter of one of the most famous explorers in the world. Her father discovered wild and bizarre miracles across the planet and worked hard to instill his own sense of enthusiastic curiosity into her. But at the age of 27, Kate is a professional photographer — she gave up the exploration biz years ago, despite her own colossal fame. She really seems to crave normalcy, despite living in a world of almost endless wonders. But when Kate is unexpectedly attacked by ninjas and defended by electro-telekinetic steampunk robots, it seems her life will never be boring.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very fun storytelling and art by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca. Kate and her father are excellent characters, but the best thing about this comic is just plain checking out all the absolute weirdness going on in the background, whether on the monster-filled streets of New York City or in the framed photos on her father’s wall. I’m hoping this comic is going to be a lot of fun.

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Daredevil #1.50

Number 1.50? Marvel, you’ve really got to quit the stupid numbering stunts.

What we’ve got here is a trio of odd little stories, two set in the future, one in the past. In the first, Matt Murdock has just had his 50th birthday, his son is sighted but has his sensory powers and a bad case of permanent jumpiness, and Foggy Nelson is alive, healthy, and skinny. And then almost everyone in San Francisco suddenly goes blind. Who’s behind it? The daughter of the Owl, who apparently has a weird case of the hots for Matt. Can Matt save San Francisco? Not without a serious sacrifice.

The second story is a text story about Matt’s future wife, and the third comes in the form of a video recorded by Mike Murdock, who was apparently a stunt pulled by Matt years ago in which he pretended to be his own twin brother to keep people from believing he was Daredevil. That’s just weirder’n spit, man.

Verdict: Man, I don’t know. I wasn’t a big fan of the Mike Murdock story or of the text story. The first story was pretty good, but I’m not a big fan of these “Here’s how we’re going to screw with the hero’s life in the coming years” stories. Just surprise us — don’t try to make predictions that we know will eventually be tossed down the memory hole.

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Manifest Destiny #6

The Lewis and Clark expedition is besieged by plant-zombies from all possible species. They’re able to use Greek fire to stop some of the monsters, but the zombies take their own toll on the group. And even worse is what Lewis and Clark themselves encounter — a giant, hyper-intelligent alien flower that wants to digest the explorers alive. Can anyone save them from destruction?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of zombie killin’ and an unexpectedly Lovecraftian end to the first storyarc. The series will continue in a month or two — hope it stays fun, creepy, and faux-historical.

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Give the Girl a Big Hand

MsMarvel2

Ms. Marvel #2

Kamala Khan has just gotten a lungful of the Terrigen Mists, and it appears she had a trace of Inhuman ancestry, because she’s ended up with weird shapeshifting powers. In fact, she spends a decent chunk of the story looking a lot like a blonde white girl, because she’s obsessed with Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel. She manages finally figure out how her powers work, and she even saves a classmate when she falls in the river, but she soon finds superheroism is a mixed bag — she doesn’t like all the attention, she’s not a fan of the skimpy costume she manifests, and the whole thing is a bit overwhelming. She makes her way back home — but learns that she wasn’t actually very sneaky, and her parents are not happy with her for sneaking out.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Loved this one so very much. Kamala’s powers are seriously weird – like Plastic Man with a much more solid and less cartoony body. I’ve heard some folks worry that the art style is going to look weird, but it’s working out really well — seems like she spends a quarter of the issue with an absurdly giant hand, and it’s weird and hilarious and kinda awesome. It’s also a lot of fun to be inside Kamala’s head while she tries to figure out her new powers, and the brief visit we get to make with her family shows that they’re even more awesome that we thought they were last issue. You’re reading this, right? Come on, we’re just two issues in — go pick it up!

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Daredevil #1

Another unnecessary number-one issue, mostly because Marvel is kinda absurd with this stuff. No one wants this crap, Marvel — stop trying to pretend it’s important.

Obviously, though, the story here isn’t at all bad, because it’s Mark Waid and Chris Samnee working on Daredevil again. Matt Murdock is living in San Francisco now, working closely with the cops as he uses his superhuman senses to track down kidnappers. But his big problem is that San Francisco isn’t New York City — Matt had the Big Apple memorized, but Frisco is mostly new territory for him. He doesn’t know where the best places are for superhero acrobatics, so he has his sorta ex-girlfriend Kirsten McDuffie yelling directions and instructions to him over an earpiece. He’s trying to rescue a kidnapped little girl, while her kidnappers chase him in rocketcars. And then he realizes that the kid is ticking — the kidnappers have implanted a bomb inside her! Why would anyone put a bomb inside a little girl? And can Daredevil save her in time? And where the hell is Foggy Nelson?

Verdict: Thumbs up. If you enjoyed the previous Daredevil series, it’s clear that you’ll enjoy this one, too. It’s weird to see Daredevil outside of New York, but this is obviously going to be a nice new challenge to keep the series fresh. Loved Matt’s sensory investigation, the extended chase sequence, the fantastic suspense when Matt discovers the bomb — and the entirely unexpected cliffhanger, which definitely makes you yearn for the next issue.

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A Farewell to Hell’s Kitchen?

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Daredevil #36

Matt Murdock is being blackmailed, forced to defend a murderer and a member of the racist Sons of the Serpent, because if he won’t, it’ll be revealed to the world, with ample proof, that he’s really Daredevil. So Matt upsets the chessboard — he testifies in open court, reveals his superheroic identity, and tells all the secrets that the Serpents were going to reveal. The Serpents lose their temper and attack the courtroom with a strikeforce of assassins, revealing the full extent of their conspiracy against Daredevil and against the city. But in the aftermath of the attack, what will the revelations about Matt’s secret life — and the way he’s used and abused the law — mean for his ability to remain in New York City?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great drama and action — as well as excellent courtroom drama.

Having said that, I do have some quibbles. How’s Foggy Nelson? Is he even alive? The beginning of this issue seemed to imply he was at death’s door, but I really can’t imagine them killing him off, especially not off-camera.

Second, we know that the series is going to be relaunched soon, with Matt practicing law in San Francisco instead of Hell’s Kitchen. How the heck is that even going to work? I don’t know that I can imagine Daredevil outside of Hell’s Kitchen or New York — partly because his entire history is tied to closely to those locales, and partly because there’s no city like New York for giving superheroes tons of great, tall buildings to jump off of and swing from. Is Daredevil going to have to get a car to get around the City by the Bay?

Still, just quibbles — I’ve loved just about every issue of this series, and I’m looking forward to the continuation over on the Left Coast.

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Red Sonja #7

Sonja has been forced to take a contract by a corrupt quasi-Egyptian ruler. He’s dying, and he wants the very best of everything for his funeral. He wants Sonja to track down his list of the world’s greatest entertainers and craftsmen in one month — if she succeeds, he’ll free every slave in the city; if she fails, he’ll have them all put to death.

Sonja’s first assignment is to find Gribaldi, the world’s greatest chef. As it turns out, he lives in the swamp, and he works for a tribe of savage cannibals. Will Sonja be able to free the loony chef from his far loonier man-eating gourmands?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A wonderfully, bleakly hilarious comic. The bogmen are savage, cannibal nitwits — and perhaps the most sophisticated, enthusiastic foodies ever depicted. Gribaldi’s culinary artistry is praised by everyone who eats his food — except for Sonja, who sees food solely as fuel for the body. And what’s really funny is how she reacts when she finds out he doesn’t respect good beer…

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Seasonal Poison

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Batman: Li’l Gotham #10

Poison Ivy is completely depressed because autumn is her least favorite season — yes, even more than winter, which she considers peaceful and calm, with less environmental destruction. But in the autumn, all the leaves are dying, and she can’t muster any enthusiasm for anything. Harley and Selina demand the Joker do something to cheer her up — and dangit, the Joker is just not any good at cheering people up! Meanwhile, Damian has noticed Alfred creeping into the east wing of Wayne Manor — carrying a body?! Soon, Damian, Tim, and Katana have decided that Alfred must be a mad genius performing unholy experiments. Can nothing stop the butler’s reign of terror?

Verdict: Thumbs up. As always, beautiful artwork and charming stories, all set in the pre-Reboot DCU. It’s good all-ages fun, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Daredevil #35

The racist Sons of the Serpent think they have Matt Murdock over the barrell. They know every one of his secrets, and they’re prepared to release them all to the press and to his enemies — but they’ll keep it all secret if he’ll defend the son of one of their leaders who’s been accused of murder. They know he’s innocent but they can’t say that in court without giving up their secrets, so they want Murdock to figure out a way to get him free. He meets up with Elektra and they beat up Constrictor and Mamba of the Serpent Society (which doesn’t have any real connection to the Sons of the Serpent, despite the name similarity) while Matt tries to figure out what to do. Does he take the case and defend the evil Sons of the Serpent? Or does he stick to his principles and ruin his life and the lives of his friends? Or does he seek a third way?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The action is pretty good, but the real focus in this story is on Matt’s cerebral gymnastics. Next to the last issue — at least until Marvel relaunches the title with a brand new #1 in a few months. Doesn’t constant relaunching just to get lots of #1s strike you as just about the silliest thing around? I mean, it’s not as silly as most of the things out of Dan DiDio’s mouth, but it’s definitely the silliest thing Marvel’s been up to lately.

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Astro City #8

An unknown enemy is trying to paint Winged Victory as a secret supervillain — and the ploy seems to be working. She has both the Samaritan and the Confessor on her side (though they have to fight each other first because you just know how superheroes are always fighting each other), and even the authorities woh come to search her compound are giving her the benefit of the doubt. But her confidence is still severely shaken because she’s relying on protection from men — and the idea that women have to rely on men for protection is something that she’s been fighting against her entire career. Is the future hopeless for her?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Beautifully illustrated, beautifully written. Tons of glorious characterization and a plot that really digs into the heart of Winged Victory’s character. It’s an absolutely fantastic comic book, and we’re only in the middle of the storyarc.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Today, it’s worth remembering that most of the media tends to not understand what Martin Luther King, Jr.’s real impact was. It was a lot more significant than merely marching and making speeches.
  • If you want to make yourself furious, read this article about the how-can-this-be-legal “troubled teen industry.” Why these thugs haven’t been dragged out of their torture camps and strung up, I’ll never know.
  • Booth babes are an offensive relic on any convention floor — but it turns out that they don’t make good business sense either, because they just don’t translate into sales.
  • The high-velocity (and high-larious) Slingshot Channel has devised a condom gun that’ll make you swear off sex forever.

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So Very Many Comics…

I’m still trying to clear space for more holiday gift recommendations, so I’m gonna see if I can clear all my regular comics reviews all at once. Strap on your seat belt, kids — we’re gonna do a review marathon…

FF15

FF #15

The Future Foundation has everything planned out, and they’re ready to take down Doctor Doom. They send in a bunch of robots controlled by the kids to distract Doom and his robots and to wreck up his Latverian castle, while the grownups and their allies infiltrate and sabotage Doom behind the scenes before finally moving in for the final confrontation. But will all their preparation allow them to succeed against Doom the Annihilating Conqueror?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great action, great humor, intrigue, drama — and thanks to co-writer and scripter Lee Allred, the story is jam-packed with in-jokes geared directly to fans of the late, lamented City of Heroes, the best dang superhero MMO ever. I loved it, and I want a lot more of it, so I’m crossing my fingers that the series will continue, despite its predicted demise.

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Red Sonja #6

Sonja was prepared to duel Dark Annisia to the death, but they’ve both been surprised by the re-emergence of the genocidal tyrant Bazrat, who reveals that the plague that afflicted Sonja and the kingdom wasn’t actually a plague at all — it was all poison administered secretly to the populace. Can Sonja and Annisia stop fighting long enough to stop the madman?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action, drama, and art, and a genuinely smart story, all wrapped up in a nice chainmail bow.

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Itty Bitty Hellboy #5

Abe’s little sister Eve is having a birthday, and everyone is invited to the party! Hellboy, Liz, the Rogers, Baba (and her chicken-leg hut), Hecate, Lobster Johnson, Johann Kraus, and many more all show up. Presents are opened, seaweed cake is devoured, hot sauce is splashed on people, and Hellboy gets turned into a chicken. Just like every other day then, right?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very funny, very cute — it’s too bad this is the final issue, because Art Baltazar and Franco did a great job making Hellboy and his supporting cast look so adorable.

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Young Avengers #14

Evil has been vanquished, and it’s time for the after party. A wide selection of artists are on hand to help document the first half of the Young Avengers’ last big party, along with most of the other young superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Wiccan and Hulkling reconcile for good, we learn more of Miss America’s origin and about her secret connection to Wiccan, and Kate Bishop decides where she stands with Noh-Varr.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A bunch of excellently crafted stories about relationships — both romantic and familial — all backed up by a bunch of cool artists. I’m gonna miss this series, but it’s nice to see they’re going out pushing the envelope.

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A Voice in the Dark #2

Zoey is worried that her urges to commit murder are going to get the better of her, so she starts up a campus talk-radio show, hoping she’ll be able to quell her homicidal desires by basking in other people’s darkness. And her very first caller is someone who’s contemplating suicide. Can Zoey keep her from killing herself? Can her uncle and his fellow police officers find the girl in time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic art and a great story that does not go where we expect it to go. Is there anything Zoey can do to keep from getting completely washed over in blood? Maybe not — and it’ll be fun seeing how it all turns out for her…

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Daredevil #34

Matt Murdock wants to strike a serious blow against the racist Sons of the Serpent — and he particularly wants to take their ally, the Jester, out of circulation. He’s managed to obtain the Darkhold, an ancient mystical book that the Sons consider their Bible, and he’s also gotten hold of a device that will allow him to broadcast to every TV, radio, and web browser in New York City. He enlists the aid of Kirsten McDuffie and then makes his broadcast, warning New Yorkers about the Sons and threatening to destroy the Darkhold if they don’t turn over the Jester. Can the gamble pay off? Or will the Sons kill McDuffie as revenge?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s an excellent story, with some real shining moments for McDuffie. The action is quite nice, and as always, Javier Rodriguez’s artwork is phenomenally beautiful.

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Revival #16

The authorities are now exterminating the local livestock, which has gotten a serious dose of whatever is causing the revivals, and Ramin and Sheriff Cypress are the targets of a low-level terrorist attack. Dana Cypress enlists her ex-husband Derrick and her sister Em — a secret Reviver — to help investigate whoever murdered Em. And Derrick runs into a mysteriously deformed arsonist. What the heck’s going on?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The series is definitely trending away from horror right now and back toward noir. Not a bad thing at all — great characterization and art, and I’m still loving the story.

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Pretty Deadly #3

Ya know, I’m not sure I could tell you the plot in a way that’ll really make sense. But we learn more about Ginny and Fox and Death, how they got the way they are, and what may be coming up for them eventually.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I liked this issue a lot more. It made a lot more sense, I could keep track of who the characters were, and there were multiple really good, really powerful scenes. I hope they can keep the quality high on this one.

Today’s Cool Links:

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Under Wraps

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Daredevil #33

Matt Murdock went and got himself shot by the Sons of the Serpent, but luckily, he’s got some new friends who are going to keep him alive — the Legion of Monsters — Werewolf by Night, N’Kntu the Living Mummy, Satana, the Monster of Frankenstein, and the Zombie Simon Garth! They do manage to get Daredevil stitched back up, and he manages — barely — to convince them to tell him what the Darkhold is. Turns out it’s a spellbook of fabled power, held by an occultist named Lucien Sinclair. He can use it to destroy the creatures of the night, so the Legion of Monsters want to get it away from him. Daredevil volunteers to steal it away, but he’ll have to withstand horrifying hallucinations that could drive him mad. Can the Man without Fear survive the terrors of the damned?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic storytelling, wonderful characters, great dialogue, and absolutely glorious artwork. The splash page of Daredevil standing in the room of flames needs to go into Chris Samnee’s portfolio, if he even needs one anymore.

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Red Sonja #5

Sonja and her fledgling bodyguards begin their campaign against Dark Annisia’s forces. She learns that the king has been buried in an anonymous grave, mostly to keep his body safe from Annisia’s raiders, and the king’s scientific son figures out a way to cure her of the plague. Finally, Sonja meets Annisia in battle — but a much more terrible foe has been manipulating both of them…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of adventure, action, and humor, along with outstanding art. It’s really nice to be able to read Gail Simone stories without having them tainted by DC, isn’t it?

Today’s Cool Links:

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