Last time we were in Sunnydale, Buffy and Kendra seemed to have made their peace with each other. Xander’s a Big Bad of sorts, having gone full vampire and kidnapped Jenny Calendar for some reason. And, after a few months’ absence, Willow is back!
Ruby’s new venture as part of Johnny Carlyle’s superhero team gets temporarily put on hold while her new boss lets himself be a dad and husband before anything else. She and Kerry (a.k.a. The Minger) get the opportunity to bond as similarly aged young women by hitting up a costume night club with the ever-enthusiastic and supportive Summer. Some of Carlyle’s new team members are dropping out after the plane attack, though, and not all of Johnny’s team feel the unending loyalty for the complicated businessman…
In 2017, maestro storyteller Neil Gaiman published Norse Mythology, a collection of stories about the Gods of Asgard retold in his unique voice. Now, like so many other Gaiman titles, Dark Horse has enlisted a pantheon of artistic luminaries to adapt Gaiman's work into comic book form. The first of an eighteen part series, Norse Mythology #1 brings to life three tails of ancient mysticism and mischief.
Kimiko Does Cancer is a sensitively told and beautifully rendered graphic memoir and a stunning debut accomplishment by both writer and subject matter focus Kimiko Tobimatsu and artist Keet Geniza. As the title suggests, it’s an intimate portrait of a queer woman of color’s struggle and journey in navigating a cancer diagnosis and life afterwards.
Reminiscent of SAGA, this issue begins from Mila’s point-of-view. Mila, Telsa, Mizard, Bandit, and the rest of the crew that escaped Sampson are bound for Phages which is also known as the ghost planet. During their travels, Mizard attempts to teach Mila magic, but she’s more interested in playing with Driller and Bandit. Meanwhile, Andy and Iffy have survived the vampire attack with the help of a farmer turned warrior of God; his mission is to destroy the monsters that killed his family. On Amun, Mother - under the control of her sister - lays the groundwork to eradicate the UGC.
Where in the ‘Verse are we? Well, Mal is still playing Sheriff, righting wrongs and ironically bringing justice to the deserted rock. Zoe and some of the crew are trying to find a new homeland for the Browncoats, an effort that is being bankrolled by the Chang-Benitez Gang. Meanwhile, Blue Sun has been investing heavily in surveillance tech and building their own militia to safeguard their interests. Welcome to Blue Sun Rising.
The original Nailbiter series took itself quite seriously. It was textured, painting a dark world of weird and violent characters. There were definitely satirical elements pointed toward the serial killer genre, but it really took its time to indulge in a new, subversive mythology. The end of the run may have felt like the end of a Hollywood blockbuster, but the journey felt complete.
I welcome Peter Murrieta and D.E. Schrader’s Rafael Garcia: Henchman with open arms. They approach a burgeoning superhero subgenre without falling into the traps that usually come with the territory. They expertly avoid an extreme level of jokey absurdness, overt self-awareness, or lazy spoofing that would undermine their characters. Here, the characters are well thought out and exist on their own terms first, which makes the experience incredibly refreshing, surprisingly relatable, and really funny.
Just in case you’ve felt any confusion, Gideon Falls #25 lays it all out for you: how things started, where things are now, and what may be the final story arc going forward.
Batman and The Maxx. Gritty, heroic, smart. Well, Batman is smart. The new Dynamic Duo they are not, but more of a buddy cop duo who are about two days away from retirement. Partners thrust together in a situation neither expected nor consensual. When you take on the Outback, it's best to do it together and there's no one much more experienced in the Outback than The Maxx. Two heroes forced into a situation that puts their physical and mental acumen to the test. Not just the type of brain power gained by years of training and deduction, but also the type of brain power one earns on the streets. That's easy enough to say for the Batman, but The Maxx goes about it in a whole different way. Imagine a funhouse mirror. You look into one, and what do you see? A warped, distorted vision staring back at you with your own eyes. Such can be said for these two heroes, if that's what you call them. Two sides of the same coin, one created on the streets of Gotham, the other who still lives there. Batman can only save what he knows; The Maxx can only save what he perceives. It'll take both to save the Outback and protect Julie and the Jungle Queen from unseen foes.