We're back for round three of the Japanese ghost story known as Ghost Tree. I reviewed issues #1 and #2 a while back. Going in, I knew nothing about the series, only picking it up because of the appealing cover. I’ve since grown to love this series for its brilliant use of color and sincere look at Japanese culture. Ghost Tree #2 ramped up the intrigue and pacing, so Ghost Tree #3 needed to keep that momentum going if it was going to live up to the first half of this story.
A quick recap of Angel #1: After losing his human protégé, Helen, in Los Angeles, Angel finds himself in Sunnydale. In a flashback, we learn that Angel(us?) used to be the leader of a marauding gang of vampires known as “The Riders.” In a fateful encounter, a young female warrior (Possibly a slayer?) known as Mara falls under his thrall and is sired. As half the issue is dedicated to this dark moment of Angel’s past, it’s very likely that Mara and the rest of the Riders will feature in his story moving forward. In the present, Angel meets up with an old friend, Francis (A nod to Doyle?), and the intriguing Lilith, presumably the mother of demons as per most pop-culture mythology. Lilith warns Angel of a dark force that “feeds on the living,” presumably on human narcissism, envy, and insecurities, driving its victims to do terrible things in return for instant validation. Interspersed with that reveal is the fact that the latest victim is none other than Francis’ daughter who sets her family on fire, killing them all. Pretty dark first issue, huh?
In this new space adventure sequel to the Descender series by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen, we hit the ground running in the third issue. With the discovery of Andy’s former pet dog robot, Bandit, Mother’s goons are on their trail to capture the forbidden tech and the family; however, we learn that Mila is not too young to know how to kill, especially when her father is threatened.
We’re back in outer space. I’ve been watching every month (even every week) for a new issue of The Weatherman. It is one of the juiciest series being published. It might be because I’m an enormous fan of this kind of science fiction - the kind that’s completely gonzo and embraces it. The kind that Philip K. Dick wrote, or the kind Hunter S. Thompson might write if he wrote science fiction.
We enter The Adjacent with Jane and Eduardo discussing Jane’s amnesia and her desire to live the life she has now. It’s then that we encounter the Verslinder, dimensional creatures that eat the fabric of the universe, and Nicholas Zacharias . . . Jane’s husband from another world. From there, we’re thrown into a conspiracy, and it all gets very exciting, very fast.
I don’t want to condone doing drugs for people who live in places in which it is still illegal. I’m not going to say with absolute certainty that I was under the influence of cannabis when I read this issue. What I will say, though, is that if you were going to choose to read a comic book while high . . . this is the one to do so.
I first started reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' books when I was about twelve. First, I went through the John Carter of Mars series. (Full disclosure – I liked the movie.) Then, there was the Venus series, and then I made it through the first couple of Tarzan books before I got distracted by something. I was twelve. It happens. All I knew was that I wanted a Thark as my next best friend. So, when I found out that Amy Chu had written a prequel about Dejah Thoris before J.C. showed up, I had to go and buy it.
Kengo Hanazawa's brilliant I Am a Hero began as a simple, yet cleverly designed, zombie story. Here, zombies are called ZQNs, and that strong point of view coupled with incredibly beautiful artwork could have been enough, but he has turned this epic tale of survival into a sprawling parable of individuality versus singularity.