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.
I thoroughly enjoy stories that take some patience on the reader’s part, and Everything is one of those stories. From the first two issues, you had a clear sense that something was going on with the new store (called Everything) that opened in a quaint town. If you were savvy, you even recognized some of the underlying themes percolating about capitalism, depression, and happiness, even if you didn’t quite know how all of the characters fit together. There are a lot of characters that fill in the pages of Everything.
Issue four of Berserker Unbound concludes Lemire and Deodato’s sword and sorcery mini epic by going full circle and returning to the bloody action and world hopping found in the first issue. This issue sees the Berserker’s arch nemesis, the Demon King, emerge from a portal with an army of other barbarian warriors in tow. One by one, the previously injured Berserker picks off the barbarians in the forest outside the metropolis until finally confronting the Demon King himself. Berserker’s transient friend Cobb becomes an unwitting hostage; however, Cobb, the Demon King, and his magic are not from the same world, so perhaps Cobb isn’t the helpless hostage as he appears to be…
In the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Vals Thermal Baths (the inspiration behind this graphic novel) were designed by famous Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. Born in Basel in 1943, Peter Zumthor earned the Pritzker Prize in 2009.
While DC Comics (including their Black Label imprint) has long been known as the home of capes and cowls, the original and impressive dark high fantasy series, The Last God, is set to change all that with a resounding and triumphant THUD of its mighty battle axe. Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Warlords of Appalachia, Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal) and featuring the haunting and beautiful artwork of Riccardo Federici (Aquaman, The Batman Who Laughs), The Last God offers a new, exciting, and epic story to follow among the current comic book shop shelves stocked full of superheroes and sci-fi!
I will come right out and say it: The Blue Road is a beautiful read. It’s a gorgeous book, as well, and I don’t mean just visually. It’s a tenderly written narrative that really works as an exercise in empathy in today’s age. In fact, it’s a very age-appropriate tool to serve as an allegory for the hardships of migration, even for children.
Geek-Girl: Series 2 #5 starts with the revelation that Ruby has joined forces with local businessman Johnny Carlyle to become the face of The Kaye Foundation, Carlyle’s charitable organization that is sponsoring a new superhero team. Of course, it will be led by its namesake, the one and only Geek-Girl! Some of the other capes enticed to join up seem to have some rather… odd abilities, though. What will Ruby and Summer think of the new HQ? Can Johnny Carlyle drop his business to be with his wife in the delivery room? Is a random mash-up of super abilities a great idea? Only time will tell.
The single-minded need for Boone Dias, the hero of Ether, to satiate his curiosity through adventure reminds me of that of a child’s need to understand the world around them, even if it means touching the burner on the stove to see what happens. This character quirk has its charms, and Matt Kindt uses Boone’s intellectually charged naivety to stir laughter and a sense of joy from the reader, but like a cat spinning its body this way and that in the air to land on its feet, Kindt then uses these moments to create a bittersweet storytelling beat. These moments have come suddenly and unexpectedly throughout the series, giving weight and gravity to the tale - turning this sci-fi / fantasy adventure into more of a character study.
Quick recap: The Sundog crew is still on the run, having barely escaped with their lives in their previous escapade. Grix’s personal life seems to be getting more complicated, and Vess made a fateful choice to go against the establishments of her faith in order to find true belief. Despite their heroic efforts at uncovering some terrible truths underpinning the current status quo, the crew is left with the bitter lesson that people just don’t care about the truth if it makes life uncomfortable for them.
You could almost call this series Something Wicked This Way Comes, as just when you think Mira and her father are about to catch a break, something awful shows up. Or you could simply call it good storytelling.