Issue #4 brings BOOM! Studios’ first arc in the relaunched Firefly series to a close, and it’s a doozy. If your head was spinning from all the backstabbing and double-crossing that’s been playing out in the last three issues, you will probably need to sit down for this one, because, you guessed it, our beloved scoundrels are in for more of that. Last time we were with the big damn heroes, Wash, Book, Jayne, and Inara were at the mercy of the pilgrims they were escorting to their shrine. Big surprise, these pilgrims aren’t all that peaceful (if their previous calls for blood didn’t tip you off), and half the Serenity crew is about to be offered up to Ba’akalal the Nightbringer. Meanwhile, Simon and River were captured by Boss Moon and her unificators, and Mal and Zoe were left cutting a deal to save the rest of the crew. Questionable morality is definitely one of the themes of the Firefly title, and it’s front and center here with seemingly honorable people being shady and an honorable antagonist, just to muddy the waters more.
BOOM! Studios’ reboot of the iconic Buffy franchise continues to recontextualize the familiar without totally reinventing them. Personally, I think that’s a wise choice, as Joss Whedon’s original creation stands on its own, even today, but a fresh take that speaks more directly to a newer generation is not a bad idea, as sensibilities have evolved. As established in the first issue, even the core Scoobies have been shaken up a bit and remixed for a more contemporary feel. While Buffy is still the slayer dealing with balancing the weight of the world and her desire to be just a teenager (dealing with her mom’s live-in boyfriend, no less), with Giles serving as her oftentimes disapproving Watcher (We’re still very much in the infancy of their relationship, as Buffy has just recently moved to Sunnydale, a point that is brought up several times.), Willow and Xander show the most reshuffling of their character traits. While Willow seems to be pretty well-established as being an out queer character (She’s in a relationship with a fellow student, Rose.), Xander’s characterization seems to focus more on introspection, almost as a response to the criticism of some of his more toxic masculinity issues from the previous iteration.
The home stretch is upon us, as we are now at the final four issues of this series. It's been a strange, intense ride over five years of god-based insanity, ridiculous specials, more musical references and/or puns than any one series should have, and so much beautiful art. Over the past forty issues, we've seen the gods of the last few generations die, betray each other, die some more, kill each other and a lot of other people, come back to life, and die some more. In between all of this dying and resurrection has been a mystical soap opera of backstabbing, love, loss, and some really crazy things. That being said, it's all been glorious, and this issue is no exception.
The next level of drone warfare is Hardcore. In the government's top-secret Hardcore Program, agents project into living human hosts to eliminate high-level targets. But the new technology has just fallen into the wrong hands. In this month's Hardcore #3, writer Andy Diggle and artist Alessandro Vitti build off the intensity of the previous installments by expanding the scope of their story and significantly raising the stakes.
I’ve said it before, but I really love this comic book series. It’s not like any sci-fi I’ve seen or read before. Many of the concepts are familiar, but what the story does with them is unique. And like any good story, the main focus is on the characters. Seeing those characters interact in this unique sci-fi world is what has kept me engaged and kept me coming back for more.
Candlewick Books will soon publish Gareth Hinds’ adaptation of The Iliad on March 12, 2019, inviting readers of all ages to experience this timeless tale of friendship, love and war like never before. Hinds spent two and a half years creating his adaptation which features notes, maps, a cast of characters, and other tools to help readers understand all the action and drama of Homer’s epic. The publisher and creator have been very generous to Fanbase Press, as we are now able to share an essay and illustrations by Hinds himself on "What Homer Would Have Wanted You to Know Before You Read The Iliad."
Two issues ago, the superhero family of Black Hammer made a decision to jump back into the reality of Spiral City (their own world) despite the fear of Anti-God (their greatest villain) returning with them. This was after having solved the mystery of how they ended up at the farm. Then, issue #7 happened. It was bonkers and wonderful. It took the idea of “meta” in this series to its most playful and heightened conclusion. That was what happened to the reality-hopping Colonel Weird. Now, in issue #8, we find our way to some of the other members of the team. If issue #7 was about where all of the unused ideas go to die, then issue #8 is about a world with no stories. Of all the issues of the series so far, this resembles our own, the reader’s world. The most tragic place for a superhero to end up is, of course, a place where they are no one, where they no longer mean anything to the world and they have no ambition.
Issue #4 begins with all-out carnage, action, and horror sprayed on every page. You can feel the panic and the hurry continuously building as each of the panels reveals more and more of the chaois the Jinoo release throughout Harlem. Of course, the Jinnoo, it turns out, are the least of our characters’ worries, as the Sangerye family may end up losing one of their own.
In The Life of Nill, candles are personified beings who travel between cities illuminated by light, sending messages to and from the cities themselves. We’re introduced to Nill and Lueb, two candles who routinely travel out to the dark under orders of the elder. But, when Lueb decides to head out on her own, Nill chases after her, and his life is forever changed.