Guillem March’s Karmen #1 is a wonderful curiosity. The design alone of our eccentric angel, Karmen, who is portrayed on the first cover by Milo Manara (You can see his influence on March’s work.) is remarkable, but it is her effervescent, over-the-top behavior that puts her on track with being one of my favorite depictions of afterlife beings - the other being Death from The Sandman. Yes, and we're only one issue into the series.
There have been times in my life where I’ve felt lost, sincerely alone, or wanted some direction or meaning in life. That obviously doesn’t make me punk, but it does mean I know where Ami is coming from. Ami is our protagonist in Home Sick Pilots, and - like I have in the past - she has committed herself to something very strange to help shake her of those feelings. For me, growing up in mid-sized, middle-American towns, it was becoming a geek: D&D, Magic the Gathering, comic books. For Ami, it was befriending a haunted house that gave her powers to knock about and collect all of the ghosts that have gotten away over the years. The other thing that can happen when you are in the state of personal turmoil such as Ami is that you can be taken advantage of. I know this feeling, as well.
In this adult fantasy, millionaire racecar driver Curtiss Hill is not only a fierce competitor, but an excellent driver. The world looks upon him as a generous philanthropist and all-around good guy, but Curtiss has a dark side where he’s much willing to do anything to win, even cheat. His chief competitor is Rowlf Zeichner, an equally gifted driver, but the two have one major difference: Dino, Curtiss’ mechanic. Dino is a genius whom Curtiss takes for granted until the war that has been quietly playing in the background becomes personal and Dino disappears. Did I mention that all of these characters are dogs?
What I love about Jeff Lemire’s world of Black Hammer is that he isn’t precious with it and lets other creators play in his sandbox. That’s ultimately what Black Hammer: Visions is. How much say Lemire has over which stories are being told, or whether that lies on editor Daniel Chabon’s shoulders, or a combination of the two, I don’t know. This could also be their opportunity to grab some of their favorite voices to map out one issue's stories. Any way you shake it, it doesn’t matter. So far, it's great!
Set in Peru some time in the near future, Puno picks up where Manu ends with Canela (a.k.a. Lila) making a deal with a local thug in order to leave the country. The last of her gang that may have had something to do with the destruction of Lima, known as Lima Roja, she may be the key to finding an old friend (Limón) who is now known as Marco Poma. In this world where bio-technology is the norm, there are hints that Marco may have become more than the sum of his parts. His mere existence threatens the military and the government who will stop at nothing to track him down - even the violent and horrific assault on a village of indigenous people. But to do what she needs to do, Canela has some tough choices to make.
The first comic book adaptation of Star Wars began BEFORE any film hit the theaters. Star Wars #1, published by Marvel Comics, introduced readers to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2D2, and Darth Vader. By the time the movie storyline wrapped up with issue #6, the film was a runaway hit. The book was notable in a number of different ways: In the days before home media, it was one of the only ways anyone interested in the story could relive it once the film left theaters. The comic also helped Marvel to keep itself afloat during a precarious time in comics. Without Star Wars, the publisher would have been in deep financial problems. Thus, it’s important to look at the newly released comic book adaptation of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, published by IDW Publishing, for its importance in the scope of the series and the industry. In many ways, this book is just as unique and important as its 1977 ancestor.
Nocterra is the new creator-owned series by a little-known indie writer by the name of Scott Snyder. We’re introduced to a world of everlasting darkness that slowly turns living beings into dangerous creatures, and the only way to survive is by staying close to artificial light. Like any post-apocalyptic series, humanity is forced to live in communities known as outposts, just barely safe from the monsters lurking.
At some point, Keanu Reeves went to BOOM! Studios with an idea, and they hooked him up with creator Matt Kindt. The creative partnership was born that would kick off BRZRKR, one of the most highly anticipated comic books in quite some time. I personally have loved this period of both Reeve’s and Kindt’s careers. To see them team up is both unexpected and yet somehow perfect. Together, along with Ron Garney and Rob Crabtree, they have given us what may be the most violent comic book that I’ve seen since Kick-Ass, but also a character that reminds me of the heyday of Wolverine, near the beginning of comic book series. Our hero is drawn to violence, just as much as violence is drawn to him. Make no mistake: As with most of Reeve’s and Kindt’s work, amidst the chaos and blood-soaked panels beats a very human story.