Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor

Erik Cheski, Fanbase Press Contributor

You can’t take the sky from me.

I know I’ve gotten the Browncoats’ attention, and Warship Jolly Roger should have it, as well.  Spinning a tale of redemption and daring do, Sylvain Runberg has gathered the kind of core characters that can interest and fascinate anyone, while Miquel Montllo brings animation-caliber artwork to the game and gives it a beautiful and moving sense of life.  Four convicts who owe nothing to each other must find a way to survive and even thrive while they deal with the fallout from their lives and their removal from it.

S—t, allow me to introduce Fan.

With Flak gone and Davey running the show, we return to the prize jewel of the mighty, bloated, and downward-sliding empire, NeoTokyo.  Having reduced its natural splendor to a glaring, glittering nightmare, the march of the technology has finally covered the world.  With her loss recent in her mind and her body dealing with the fallout of that encounter, as well, it's time for all the chips to be laid out in this penultimate issue.

So, this is the end.

Stephen Hawking has warned that Singularity is coming, the defining moment where - if we continue to pursue AI - it will gain consciousness and propagate at a prodigious rate and basically follow its course of logic to become Ultron.  Apocalypse by machine has been the basis of some great cyberpunk stories, most noticeably in The Matrix Trilogy, but Jordan Hart has added a new wrinkle to the trope: a man whose actions have placed him outside of society to begin with is now the last vestige of that society.  When the machines took over, they left the artists - humans who could create something that the machines knew that they could not - and kept them to keep creating for the machines.

You’ve likely heard of the little phenomenon that is Pokemon GO by now. (I’m going with Pokenomenon.)  Whether you’re out walking to catch just one more Clefairy before heading back home or just amazed by the amount of people walking about parks, it’s unlikely that you’ve missed this unprecedented moment in gaming and social media history. 

This Christmas, every stocking will be filled with Santa’s foot in your a**.

I’ve always been of fan of people taking myth and using it in new stories. Jim Butcher mostly makes his living doing just that. I really don’t think that any myths are beyond the reach of such treatments, even ones we hold dear today like dear old Saint Nick. I mean, the Robot Santa episodes are some of my favorites in the run of Futurama.  Much like that fun take on the world’s most famous Elf, Sleigher: Heavy Metal Santa Claus from Action Lab: Danger Zone is full of charm, wit, and much, much a**-kicking.  If you wondered what it would be like if The Santa Clause starred Lemmy instead of Tim Allen, this is a book you’re gonna love.

I have a little list.

I mentioned in the last issue review that things we’re awkwardly transitioning from a mostly self-contained story into a long-running series, and there’s a wonderful sight gag in this issue where Skottie Young owns it completely and forges on.  That’s one of the things that I love so much about this series, that much like other fourth-wall shattering heroes (not a hero), this book takes great fun in mocking itself and the medium with a gentle tongue-in-cheekiness that is endearing and a big relief for those who may be a little burned out by the cape and tights set.  He’s providing comic relief for the industry, because while certain tropes can be engaging if done right or turned on their head, for the most par,t they get repetitive. It’s wonderful to watch a keen wit send them up issue after issue.

Did you hear about the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted?

It’s no secret to anyone who’s read my reviews before that I have a special place in my nerdy heart for the world of Krynn as told through the magnificent stories of Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.  One of the biggest draws to the series was the frail Mage Raistlin Majere, a fascinating character who - during the adventure - chose to follow the dark god whose designs he was helping to foil.  The Dragonlance Legends told of his continuing ambitions and adventures, along with his brother Caramon and the Kender Tasselhoff Burrfoot.  Centering on Raistlin’s dark designs for the world, readers are in store for a time-traveling adventure of high fantasy wherein the gods themselves tremble at the repercussions.

Who you gonna call?  Well, if you're one subset of a certain franchise, it'll be the hilarious ladies lining up for their blockbuster release of the new Ghostbusters film.  If you're another subset, then you'll be calling said ladies some pretty terrible things, because Ghostbusters are obviously men, because women just aren't funny, right?  The whole point of Ghostbusters is that they actually have nuclear accelerated phalluses that they wave about maniacally, throwing plasma everywhere and caring not a whit for the fallout.  Obviously, women can't handle this kind of elevated humor, because men are just so much better at it.  It’s not that they don’t want to see them in the uniform, of course, just not with all the talky.  Like this.  That’s fine because women can pretend to be Ghostbusters (Ghostbustiers, perhaps?), but they have no right being Ghostbusters.  After all, that’s not how the franchise began, and you can’t change the nature of its identity without consulting the fans. After all, they’re the ones consuming it. You can’t just foist things they don’t want to see into the continuity. That would mean that if they don’t see, it they can’t be its fan anymore.

“We’ll make Pan’s kids like you…we’ll make the little buggers love you!”

I only knew Schismatic from that wonderfully handsome Fanbase Press Contributor Simply Jack and his winning smile, and now I’ve gotten the chance to check it out for myself.  The third issue of this excellently told tale is where we’re getting into the meat of the adventure, and Riolobo comes into his own with his causal and snarky demeanor, giving way to a mostly competent hero once the excrement hits the fan.  Idris and Amalia have been doggedly trying to find their children, and they’re finally on their way to determine their fate.  The question is, will what they discover at the end of their quest fill the hole in their hearts or tear it wider than can ever be repaired?

Sure, power corrupts, but if I could just get a taste…

I’d heard about Gutter Magic when it was three issues into its run, and though my local shop proprietor was very gung ho about it, I was so buried in other series and reviews that I couldn’t jump on it without falling way behind. When this trade came up for review, I knew that I had to jump on it.  It’s worth all the hype I had been hearing; it’s smart, fun, and an action-packed alternate history of our world stemming from WWII on.  It’s a whirlwind ride of wizards, magic, Steampunk aircraft, and a whole lot of wonder and backstabbery to boot.  It’s a great thing when you find a book where the team is so obvious in their passion for telling their story, and there’s no page that disappoints in this regard.

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