Worlds collide when a barbarian warrior is ripped from his fantasy realm and dropped into a modern-day metropolis. Writer Jeff Lemire and artist Mike Deodato Jr’s newly collected Berserker Unbound begins with standard sword-and-sorcery fair, but ultimately reveals itself as an affecting examination on grief and recovery.
Over half a decade ago, several voice actors with limited connections to one another began playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons as a birthday present to one of the cast members. Years later, the game went from a way to relax and have fun to a live-streamed show to one of the most popular programs on the internet. With the podcast and stream in full swing and an animated series on the way, fans have been clamoring for the characters' stories that predated their game. Thanks to Dark Horse Comics, we've gotten just that with the second Vox Machina Origins series that explores the home of our talented cast. With this issue, we get to meet another familiar face from the Vox Machina we've come to know, love, and laugh at when they do stupid things. So, so many stupid things.
Up until a few months ago, I had no idea what a cozy mystery was. What’s worse is that I have a few friends who write them. (I am a bad friend. *Sigh*) If you haven’t a clue (Get that? Clue?) of what a cozy mystery is, it is a sub-genre of crime fiction, where the sex and violence are downplayed and the crime occurs in a small community. (Thank you, Wikipedia.) Anyway, I decided it was time to read something that was a little lighter than my usual fare of science fiction and fantasy mayhem.
Bering Strait is perhaps the most human book I’ve read in a very long time. Ironically, its subject matter is not primarily human, per se. That is to say that the protagonists are not modern Homo sapiens, but rather our cousins, the Neanderthals. Set against the harsh tundra during the sunset days of the Neanderthals, it’s a searing look at what it means to be self-aware, to innovate, to fight for survival, to hope for a better future, to question what it means to be a people, and what makes us human.
In this issue, Bernice sets out with her goblin friend to find the source of the music that’s bringing the dead back to life in Harrow County. It’s World War II, and many of the dead are soldiers who are bringing comfort to the families upon their return; however, there are also dark forces coming back and taking the living with them.
I really enjoyed the first volume of Blackwood, a sort of Harry Potter-like story for college-age kids dealing with occult and Cthulu-like baddies. It turned out the headmaster was one of these baddies and had put a curse on the new kids that their fates would perish with the school. One of those kids did. Of course, there was another villain, and it became a dark story of failed love in the end. It was fun.