Phenomenal cosmic power...itty, bitty living space.

Spera is a fantasy comic series published by Archaia. Ascension of the Starless Volume 2 is, in fact, the fifth book in the series. It’s important to know, as it drops readers straight into the action and doesn’t take a lot of time to explain what’s come before. I read the very first Spera volume a few years ago and came into Ascension of the Starless with very little info about what had transpired. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to dive back into the adventures of runaway princesses Pira and Lono. There were a few characters and events that could have been explained better, but, overall, it’s easy to jump right in.

Lela’s family has been torn apart by the loss of her twin sister, Darby, and even the notebook of the girls’ original stories doesn’t bring any solace.  When a mysterious email leads Lela to Abe’s, a barber shop/pub/gathering place for heroes, she starts on the first steps to learning the truth behind Darby’s disappearance.

Space explorer Tommie has a problem.  Sure, she can fend off any mutant food invasion with a trusty kale bomb, and she’s super handy with a blaster, but when yet another potential co-pilot chooses the lure of fame over a life of adventure, the young space captain isn’t sure what to do.  When a giant mutant coconut chews through her ship’s fuel lines, forcing a crash landing on an uncharted planet of sentient dogs, her only hope is a pup named Smash in a wacky (and less pessimistic) Planet of the Apes-style caper.

War for the Planet of the Apes lives up to what you would expect from the series. There's the human surviving faction, and then there are the apes, led by Caesar, as established by the current film franchise; however, this series offers writer David Walker and artist Jonas Scharf a unique chance to expand the palate of the story. It also gives them the chance to design mystery and suspense tied around new characters for their story. The result of their work is not only an evocative and attention-grabbing first issue, but something that reminds us of other powerful apocalyptic survival stories like The Walking Dead or Apocalypse Now.

Image Comics celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year, and they have brought back titles in various ways, including Spawn and Youngblood. They have also created a “one-time printing in honor of the anniversaries” for The Darkness 20th Anniversary Collection, which includes nine issues and a preview. This collection includes issues one through six of The Darkness Origins, The Darkness/Superman 1 and 2, and The Darkness/Batman, and the cover page of this trade paperback brilliantly showcases the first story.

For the writers you admire, athletes you love, and politicians you support, I think it’s just as important to understand when one of their endeavors doesn’t seem to work as well as their others and why, as much as it does basking in their victories. Matt Kindt, I feel, is one of the most talented writers in the comic book industry today. He has a handful of comics running right now that I’ve committed my time and emotional investment in, but my first experience with him was the perfect Mind MGMT. I have to say that five issues into Grass Kings, the story has finally ramped up, but it is not connecting with me the way his other books have.

The worst thing you can give a person is hope.

There’s something beautiful about the primal nature of fear. It’s so simple and uncomplicated. I think that’s why many of us are attracted to horror films, and the genre in general. The Xenomorph is one of the most beautiful cinematic creations to me. Much like Ashe, it’s difficult not to admire. I think the same can be said about the works of H.P. Lovecraft whose horrors have lived beyond our existence. I have to admit I’ve never read one of his stories myself, but I’ve read a number of the quickly accruing comic book adaptations of his work, which I’m sure will be followed by even more film adaptations.

What price is happiness?

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