Previously on… Hellmouth #1, Drusilla successfully opened the Hellmouth and entered it to claim whatever dark destiny awaited her. Hot on her heels are Buffy and her mysterious (rather broody, definitely handsome) acquaintance, Angel.
The nitty-gritty: This is a pretty massive graphic novel with 110 pages of story that reads entirely like a feature film starring the female crew of the Serenity who team up with Saffron for a one-night caper that is most certainly a wild ride. When exactly it’s set isn’t absolutely stated, but given certain context cues, it’s definitely set before the Serenity movie but presumably after Book had left the crew.
In Our Encounters with Evil: Adventures of Professor J.T. Meinhardt and His Assistant Mr. Knox, we return to the world created by Mike Mignola and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell. For this new anthology of capers and hijinks, the eponymous duo is joined by Ms. Mary Van Sloan, vampire huntress and demon slayer extraordinaire.
I just sat in a car for twenty minutes and explained how special Black Hammer is to someone. This series that began as a microcosm in a barn has expanded into a universe that wraps around the past, the future, alternate realities, and the deconstruction of the story and stories in general. It feels like I’ve lived through decades of Black Hammer comics, and it’s only been two years.
If you are not up to date on Gideon Falls, stop reading this review. Part of the magic of this book is that you only know as much as the main characters know at any given point in time, and I need to talk to some degree about what’s happening, which means spoilers would be ahead for those unfamiliar with the series.
Monster Matador #11 departs from the gritty, monster-of-the-week (or issue) format and focuses on the danger of humans in a post-apocalyptic society. Ramon and Adelita attempt to get home (somewhere in Mexico) with the help of their Han Solo and Chewey-esque pilot and furry copilot only to be shot down by members of the Guapo Cartel. (Is guapo ever used as a name, or is this literally the “handsome cartel?”) Ramon’s fame as a matador works both as a blessing and a curse with the cartel’s leader, since he isn’t condemned to immediate death or imprisonment. He’ll get a chance to fight something… even if El Chango feels sure that our hero will die after a final fight in the ring.
The last time we were in Sunnydale, the Hellmouth was just opened and Buffy and Angel were quite literally in it. Hell was breaking loose everywhere. Fast-forward a few days, and that’s where we are now. It’s pretty clear that despite both the Buffy and Hellmouth titles being set in Sunnydale, the focus of each series is clearly divided, with the Hellmouth series focusing on Buffy and Angel, and the Buffy series shining the spotlight on the rest of the gang.
I came upon this series' release in an unusual way: during a strange saga on comic book artist Ryan Stegman's podcast, Steg-Man and Friends. On the show, Stegman speaks with his friends in the industry, but an odd and hilarious drama began to unfold as real-life lawyer Charles Soule was a guest on the show, which eventually devolved into Soule taking over the show for a week himself. (Please listen; it's bizarre and wonderful.) He had Scott Snyder on as a guest to talk about this series and its impending release.
It’s no secret how much I love time travel stories. I’ve reviewed quite a few of them over the years, and most of those reviews begin with gushing about how much I love time travel stories. And if you asked me to rank my favorite time travel comics of all time, the original Chrononauts would be pretty close to the top of the list. So, as you can imagine, I was very excited to find out that 1.) there’s a sequel and 2.) all four issues of that sequel are being released at once. I jumped at the chance to review it, and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint.
As we enter the third issue, we’re treated to Stockholm syndrome at work, with the Bad Elvis Gang eating cake and teaching kids how to handle a shotgun. (The best.) Emily is still an indecisive mess, Jesse is trying to be the supportive fiancée, and Grandma Harriet just drugged one of the gang members and is about to go to town with a shotgun - all of this while the sheriff is preparing for the worst with 15 pounds of plastic explosives rigged to explode and Twitter blowing up with hashtag, #mooreemilymooreproblems.