Have you heard the news, Tomb Raider fans!? I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting almost a whole year to celebrate and rejoice! Mark your smartwatches, nerds, because Rise of the Tomb Raider, originally released for Xbox One only, will finally be available for the Playstation 4 on October 11th, 2016! Excited now?!
This first issue of Kingsway West jumps around a bit before we find our footing in the present story. Greg Pak (House of Penance) has created a brand new, but awfully familiar, world. It’s the era of the gold rush, the US is split between the Chinese and Mexicans, and the gold is red. Yes, Red Gold. This Red Gold powers a phenomenon that science cannot explain, especially since it can be used as a weapon. Everyone wants it, badly enough to go to war.
In the first issue of Conan the Slayer by Cullen Bunn (Harrow County) and Sergio Dávila, we followed a wounded Conan into a community of Kozaki warriors. After some grandstanding, Conan earned their trust and caused a divide between the father (leader of the pack) with his older son. The older son does not trust Conan. Conan trusts none of them.
Things get a little weird.
It’s no secret that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the adventures of the terror upon cute that is Gertrude, former Queen of Fairyland. In this issue, Mr. Young brings in guest artist Jeffery “Chamba” Cruz who partners with series colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu to give us a sweet alternative kind of tale for our demonic damsel. (Sweet as in badass, not tea parties.) We’re now into the series proper, and things are working well with the episodic nature. We now get to see Gert kick a little butt on the page instead of inferring between issues.
So it ends. Well, this volume, at least. With the last issue of the Rising Action arc, the book finally sees the six issues of battle really come to a head with some major twists, turns, and big changes to go along with the witty banter and classic Keiron Gillen humor that we've come to know and love from the series.
When you like your action slow, thoughtful, and callous.
There’s an obvious swing in comics towards physical perfection in male characters, and impossible contortions of anatomy and sense in female ones. Mark Hobby’s book, Job Dun: Fat Assassin, eschews that standard in its main character, giving us an overlarge guy who bulls through a world that prides itself on looks and the application of social expectations that can boggle the mind. Taking the path of least resistance in all things, Job Dun is like a foul-mouthed Buddha chucking fools to the afterlife while keeping after what’s important.
I’ve spent many an hour both onstage and backstage creating impassioned pieces of live theatre, probably more hours than I care to admit. James Tynion IV is a writer whom I like very much; his Memetic and Cognetic books are trippy, David Cronenberg-esque sci-fi horror films that play as social satire, his UFOlogy harkens back to '80s films in which kids have to become the heroes, and his runs on a few different Batman titles - now specifically Detective Comics - have all been inspired. The Backstagers is nothing like any of them. It’s more of a Young Adult fantasy about the people who really bring to life the plays you might see or be a part in when you were in high school.
Reading House of Penance is like bathing in madness. It creeps into your psychological cracks like a good David Lynch film. This current issue finds that Sarah’s sister has returned to have her carted off to the madhouse. This inspires the first instance of violence we’ve seen on the Winchester’s mansion. You see, Sarah Winchester, who owns half of the Winchester fortune (the guns) has hired on a platoon of killers to work on her mansion. The workers create and recreate this maze of a mansion. Some doors lead nowhere, and some hallways and stairways lead nowhere. The banging of the hammers are supposed to keep the vengeful spirits that haunt Sarah at bay, but with that first instance of outright violence, order begins to lose against the chaos.