What if you took the craziest villain you could think of, like Heath Ledger’s Joker, and mixed him with Hannibal Lecter, but with more showmanship. What if you took that psychopath and, right after he got away with the biggest, nastiest, most despicable act of terror ever, you tried to make him into a good guy? What if you fixed whatever was wrong in his brain, put him on a bunch of anti-psychotic medicine, and gave him another chance? What if you gave him a chance to put all of that ridiculously dangerous intellect to good use? This is the basic premise of Bedlam, a book that asks the question “is evil just something you are or something you do?”
Do you like old school film noir? Of course. Do you like big-headed green aliens? Uhh . . . yeah! Do you want to see what happens when you put those two things together? Then, you should really check out Dames in the Atomic Age by Christopher Ryder and Marc Sandroni. These guys have taken an old school detective story, complete with the narrating private-eye protagonist, and combined it with the stylings of a 1950s B-movie filled with aliens, ray guns, and giant radioactive ants. Dames in the Atomic Age is the perfect marriage between the sci-fi and noir detective genres. It is colorful, humorous, and - best of all - a very intriguing mystery.
*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.
Dear Marvel and DC,
I’m a huge fan. I read a lot of your books and a lot of books from other “indie” publishers. In general, I’m just a big fan of comic books altogether. I’m 26 and my particular fandom started when I was 7 years old. My Saturday mornings and every day after school were dominated by Batman: The Animated Series and the X-Men cartoon; however, the fun didn’t stop there for me. My parents knew I was a big fan and started to buy me comics at the grocery store, the newsstand, and eventually at a local comic book store. I spent my formative teen and college years with a wonderful assortment of different characters and stories to enjoy. I even had my dark phase in my early 20s where I read a lot of Alan Moore and Frank Miller, but it always came back to superhero books for me.
The comic book event of the summer is nigh! Before Watchmen, the much-anticipated prequel series to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, will consist of seven limited series and an epilogue one-shot. Stay tuned, as the Fanboy Comics crew will be reviewing each title as it is released. Hurm.
We have now reached the fourth issue of Before Watchmen: Minutemen by Darwyn Cooke, and I can safely state that if you are not reading this book, you are not missing anything worthwhile. I wondered from the beginning whether Before Watchmen would actually seek to tell good stories that expanded and improved upon Watchmen, or whether it was nothing more than an attempt by DC to cash in on the Watchmen property. Four issues in, it is clear to me now that this book doesn’t really have anything to add to the Minutemen subplot of Watchmen. It is simply retreading old ground and painfully trying to be shocking at every turn. It plays more like a bad Dateline exposé of the Minutemen than a thoughtful comic exploring one of Watchmen’s many subplots.
Jim Zub’s Skullkickers is an amazing concept. He has created two characters that do everything you are never supposed to do in a fantasy roleplaying game. His characters brutally kill anything in their path, never ask why they’re doing it, and are always terribly drunk while doing it. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe that is the way you should play a roleplaying game. Zub has done such a good job establishing his characters that every once in a while, he takes a month off from crafting amazing Skullkickers tales and let’s some of the best talent in the industry play in his crazy fantasy world. This is how we get Tavern Tales.
I never thought that Mind the Gap, an amazing, new mystery book from Image Comics, could pull me into its intrigue even more, but Jim McCann has proven me wrong, and I’m so happy that he has. With every issue, he peels back another layer, and with every reveal, the whole story is turned on its head. You think you’ve figured it all out, but then there’s yet another twist. Each panel has new clues, and you never know what might happen when you turn to the next page.
So, why aren’t you reading Chew yet? I mean, honestly, is there any good reason to not read Chew? It is expertly written, spectacularly drawn, ridiculously hilarious, and chock full of cyborg lions, chocolate assault rifles, Russian vampires, murderous chickens, and, of course, chogs ( a.k.a. chicken-frog hybrids). In the middle of all of this craziness is Tony Chu, a detective whose life is turned upside down because he’s a cibopath, which means when he eats something, he learns everything about its past. His ability is incredibly important, because, in the world of Chew, chicken has been banned because of the bird flu, food crime is rampant, and the FDA is the last line of defense.
“Warfare without Warning.” That’s the tagline for The Activity, a new spy thriller from Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads that has taken everyone by surprise and has quickly become one of my most anticipated reads each month. Edmondson and Gerads have researched how our military’s special operations units work and created an incredibly realistic story about the teams that protect us, without us ever knowing it.
Jim McCann's soap opera murder mystery set primarily in a young woman's mind was missing one key ingredient, and clearly that ingredient was hoodie-wearing werewolves expertly drawn by Rodin Esquejo. Oh, thank goodness, they've remedied that oversight in this expertly crafted fourth issue of Mind the Gap. This book is a high drama mystery where nothing is as it seems, and every character you meet has hidden agendas and ulterior motives. At the center of all of this is Elle, who's recently been murdered and is searching through her fragmented memories in the “Garden,” a mysterious world that balances between life and death, while her body lies lifeless in a coma.
The first arc of Creator-Owned Heroes wraps up with this issue. In case you didn't know, Creator-Owned Heroes, the brainchild of Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Steve Niles, is a monthly comic anthology collecting 40+ pages of comics, interviews, and artwork from top comics professionals. The first arc (Issues #1-4) has two ongoing comic stories: Trigger Girl #6 by Gray and Palmiotti with art by Phil Noto and American Muscle by Steve Niles and Kevin Mellon. This anthology is a really cool idea that not only puts two awesome comics in your hand but gives you a look between the pages as top industry professionals show you the tricks of the trade.