In July, I received the opportunity to review the first two books in the Young Adventurer's Guide series. I've waited ever since for the chance to pick up the remaining books in the series and, as luck would have it, Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeons & Tombs recently crossed my desk.
Family Tree #1 starts as a story of a single mother (Loretta) and her children (one troubled teenage son and an eight-year-old daughter who seems to be more mature and understanding than those her age), but it becomes a horror story of sorts when Loretta’s daughter starts to grow into a tree. It all comes to a head when Loretta’s grandfather comes blasting back into her life (literally).
The Restoration is the first part of a three-part limited neo-peplum comic book series called Polis: The Trail of Socrates. The story of The Restoration takes place immediately after the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE, the same time and setting as the video game, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey) in which Athens was defeated by Sparta and the city was ruled for a mere eight months by the Thirty Tyrants. Though brief, the corrupt Thirty Tyrants rained violence on the citizens of Athens and confiscated much of their riches, which in turn fueled a rebellion which brought about their downfall.
Following the slow-paneled mediation of William Gull’s abominable murder and dissection of Marie Kelly, we come into Part 8 of the From Hell Master Edition: The Unfortunate Mr. Druitt. Rather than mine the changes within the art, the color palette within From Hell offers a new angle.
The premise of the Grass Kings series is that an anti-government settlement lives off the grid in a grassland trailer park within the West. This community has managed to formulate their own set of rules, rejecting common-held laws. At the outset, readers are grounded in a story where three brothers are deemed the Grass Kings, with one of them dealing with the loss of a child.
Issue three of Something Is Killing the Children revolves around a few key moments, two of which are entirely dialogue driven. These scenes are some of the best I’ve seen written in some time. Any exposition is natural, the pacing is fluid, and the tension is built through character conflict. James Tynion IV is a fantastic writer, and he’s taking the time to let this story breathe.
The previous issue of The Weatherman had an incredibly amazing cliffhanger, and I have to be honest that I was just a little bit disappointed with where the story went in the subsequent issue - as if a different path could have changed everything for everyone involved. But, if I’m to be honest with myself once again, LeHeup's chosen direction makes more sense with who the characters are, and it’s a really fun issue.
Despite its name, Safe Sex (SFSX) is not a series for the faint of heart, and while it has connections to other media, it stands all on its own. Described (by me, to others) as The Handmaid's Tale but for the misunderstood members of the kink and queer communities, SFSX is an opus of sex-positive and queer-focused storytelling, with an added theme of standing up against the tyranny that attempts to starve you of your freedoms and tamp down any urges that are viewed as unseemly.
The long-awaited second volume of Eisner-nominated artist Gou Tanabe’s adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness will release this week from Dark Horse Comics. The two-volume series was originally published by Kadokawa Corporation in 2016-2017 and is not Tanabe’s first foray into Lovecraft or literary adaptations. In 2014, Tanabe adapted and illustrated Lovecraft’s 1921 short story, “The Outsider,” and The Hound and Other Stories in 2017. The artist has also adapted stories by Maxim Gorky, Anton Chekhov, and Garon Tsuchiya.
One of the exciting things about Killswitch’s second issue is that we see the immediate aftermath of Regula’s betrayal and the freeing of the Augurs. Of course, the situation is much more complicated for our characters, having only a 90-minute window to escape the planet and find new lives for themselves. Plus, there is a nagging feeling at the back of my mind that there might be something bigger at play here.