Archive for Witcher

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Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle #3

Robo is stuck in the Wild West, his atomic batteries burning out, traveling with U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves and outlaw dentist Doc Holliday. They’re tracking a bunch of bandits who’ve been kidnapping townspeople across the West for nefarious purposes — and after a wild shootout aboard a train, Robo learns that the Big Bad is none other than Helsingard, the villain who’s plagued Robo throughout his history, from an elderly Nazi to an undead cyborg floating-floating Nazi. What are Helsingard’s plans — and can Robo stop him before he dies?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Absolutely outstanding action — that running battle on board the train is a good dozen pages of the best swashbuckling Western you always wanted to see. Plus there’s a bit of humor, a bit of drama, and a little ominous foreshadowing for what the next two issues may hold for us.


Manifest Destiny #8

Half the crew is stuck on a boat in the middle of a river, held fast by a gigantic tentacled toad-monster that’d like to eat as many people as it can. The other half is stuck on land, trying to find a safe place to camp, trying to figure out a way to rescue their stranded crewmen, and most likely, getting ready to get slaughtered by the monstrous wildlife of the American frontier…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Claustrophobic mood and rising tensions among the crew members. Plus we get one monster being carefully hidden from view, just to make us wonder what’s under the water — and another monster depicted in full technicolor gory, just for those of us who like to see some great monsters.


The Witcher #5

Geralt the Witcher finally meets up with Marta and learns that she’s not a monstrous bruxa, but just a cursed woman, trapped between life and death after her husband, Jakob the hunter, killed her in a fit of jealous rage. Marta begs Geralt to kill Jakob, but he refuses — Witchers kill supernatural monsters, not human ones. But the question may be forced after all — Jakob is entirely mad and willing to kill anyone he thinks might come between him and his dead wife.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice end for the series, with most of the truly frightening bits reserved for the human villain rather than for the supernatural horrors — many of the monsters are themselves victims of a curse.

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It’s Better to Burn Out than to Fade Away


The Wicked + The Divine #1

So, the setup: once every century, the gods return to Earth. Not all of them — just a dozen. They inhabit the bodies of young people, they perform miracles, they perform concerts, they get worshiped by masses of people — and in two years or less, they all die. And the newest crop of gods are back on the material plane again.

Our viewpoint character is Laura, a fangirl looking for some gods to worship. She shows up for a concert by Amaterasu, a Shinto sun goddess inhabiting the body of a white girl from Exeter. Amaterasu pretty much blows everyone’s minds, and when Laura wakes up, she meets Lucifer, who takes her backstage to meet Amaterasu and Sakhmet while they’re getting interviewed by the skeptical media. And then there’s the brutal and utterly hilarious assassination attempt, gleefully shut down by Luci. But is the aftermath going to lead to the downfall of the gods?

Verdict: Thumbs up. As I believe we’re all quite well aware by now, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie really love modern fantasy about pop music, and this one is basically pop stars as gods — insanely, gloriously popular for a couple years before they inevitably burn out and fade away. The art is spectacular, the character design is wondrous, the writing, characterization, and humor are fantastic. This was really great fun, and y’all better jump on the bandwagon for this one.


The Manhattan Projects #21

We finally get to focus on Laika, stuck on a very lonely mission exploring deep space. She’s captured by a spaceship categorizing alien lifeforms, is given a universal-translater snack, and is put into a cell with an alien glob and a lying spy-bot. But the ship is soon attacked by a larger warship, and Laika and her companions must flee to safety — and in the process, she gets dowsed in a genetic re-sequencing liquid. What happens to the world’s most famous space dog after a few thousand generations of forced evolution?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of action and humor and weird stuff, and it’s great to get to spend some time with Laika, who we just haven’t gotten to spend all that much of this series with.


The Witcher #4

Geralt the Witcher and Vara the succubus find Jakob the hunter in the dining hall with his wife Marta the vampire. Jakob has been desperate to find Marta all this time, but is now terrified to be in the same room with his terrifying, near-silent wife. After that, the Grave Hag makes it into the house and leads an attack of zombies. Geralt and Vara enjoy some time together, Jakob decides he wants to leave the house, then decides he doesn’t want to leave the house, and Geralt discovers one of the house’s great secrets.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good action and some wonderfully creepy weird stuff make this one a lot more fun.

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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.


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.


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…


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.


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.


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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The Horrible Future and the Horrible Past


Lazarus #8

The Lift is coming, in which the Waste — poor, unskilled, and considered worthless by the all-powerful and impossibly wealthy Families — are given the opportunity to show they can be useful enough to be declared Serfs, with greater security and benefits. The Barret family are traveling to Denver, hoping to be selected, but they’ve already lost their daughter to bandits. While they travel with the other pilgrims on their way to Colorado, Forever Carlyle is tracking down a band of terrorists called the Free. They’ve managed to build a bomb, and they plan to use it in Denver, unless Forever can somehow stop them in time.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very nice slow build on the tension, combined with excellent characterization of Forever and the Barrets. We can be pretty sure that they’ll all come to clash somehow, and that it won’t be pretty for anyone, but I’m still looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.


The Witcher #2

Geralt the Witcher and Jakob the hunter are exploring a seemingly empty mansion in a haunted forest. Of course, it’s far from empty — there are some monsters and a whole room full of corpses. Jakob decides to try to find his late wife, who’s become a vampire, while Geralt encounters a friendly succubus named Vara. What’s her story? What’s wrong with the house? What’s buried in the basement?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Best thing about this, so far, is characterization and dialogue. Yeah, there’s some monster-fighting, but it’s the most fun listening to these people talk to each other.

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Back for More Blood


American Vampire: Second Cycle #1

American Vampire is back? Yes! American Vampire is back!

We quickly get re-acquainted with our main characters. It’s 1965, and Pearl Jones is running a secret underground railroad in Kansas for refugee children. And Skinner Sweet is hijacking illegal arms shipments on the Mexican border. Of course, they’ve got their own little vampire twists on their new vocations. Skinner uses his ability to survive stuff other people can’t to take out the competition. And Pearl’s refugees are all different species of vampires. But something big and scary is on the horizon — something scary even for vampires — the Gray Trader is coming.

Verdict: Thumbs up. So glad to see American Vampire back on the stands — and especially glad to see that it’s still absolutely glorious, non-glittery horror. If you ain’t been reading this title before, I gotta assume you just don’t enjoy horror. For the rest of you, time to get back aboard the train.


The Witcher #1

If any of y’all have played the “Witcher” computer game, you’re probably pretty familiar with our setting and main character. We’re in a generic European medieval fantasy setting, and our hero is Geralt, a witcher, or supernaturally-powered monster hunter. He encounters a lonely hunter named Jakob, who reveals that his wife is dead — but she watches him from a nearby hilltop. She’d been turned into a vampire, but had thus far been unwilling to attack her husband. Jakob is hoping to leave his old life — and his monstrous wife — behind, and Geralt agrees to help guide him through the Black Forest. But there are things much worse than vampires in the forest.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not expecting much from a video game adaptation? Hah! It’s written by the always awesome Paul Tobin, fools! Of course it’s wonderful! Seriously, the mood is wonderfully grim and claustrophobic. Not a lot of outright scares yet, but the mood promises some really wonderful stuff ahead.


Ghosted #8

Jackson Winters has been captured by the Brotherhood of the Closed Book, but they realize he’s haunted by literal ghosts, which gets him special treatment beyond just torturing him or throwing him to monsters in the dark. Their leader shows him their operation — they bring in girls who’ve been possessed by ghosts and set them to work transcribing the spellbooks imprinted on their souls. Is there a way for Jackson to escape the Brotherhood’s clutches and liberate the girl he’s been sent to steal? And just how many ghosts is he going to have to fight his way through?

Verdict: Thumbs up. So wonderfully weird. The Brotherhood is amazingly creepy, from their eyeless priests, drooling ghost secretaries, and bird-headed demons. And as always, Jackson keeps finding himself in deeper and deeper trouble.

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