In a world nothing more than a barren wasteland, the future is so much more devastating than witnessing a helpless crawl through the desert. Human life has been reduced to a minuscule existence: slavery, those in control of these camps, and others being hunted for unique abilities labeling them as metahumans. Surrounding this decrepit way of life is the origin of “the remains of Earth, A.D. 2295” – “Purists.”
The first issue of Dead Inside by John Arcudi and Toni Jejzula was enough to peak my interest. The story of Detective Linda Caruso who, after a series of promotions and demotions, finds herself working at a Jail Crimes Division. Immediately, we’re treated to the aftermath of a gruesome and bizarre murder in the Mariposa prison between inmates. A scrawny prisoner manages to kill someone 10 times his size. Everyone thinks it’s an open-and-shut case - everyone but Linda. Every corner she turns, she’s met with resistance until she finally finds a crack in the façade that opens the case back up. Where the first issue made me curious, issue two had me hooked.
Dept.H has to be one of my favorite comics on the shelves right now. Truthfully, anything Matt Kindt touches these days, especially in the creator-owned environment, is near perfect. He doesn’t think like your typical comic book creator. Every panel of every issue tells a story on multiple levels. He creates tone, a sense of space that reflects the mood and inner psyche of the characters, all while furthering the actual story along. By tackling all these elements, you get a sense of the tension and emotional journeys his characters are in the midst of taking. In Dept.H, it’s Mia’s story.
Issue #4 of Matt Kindt and David Rubín’s Ether focuses on the harrowing story of Hazel, the female character we’ve thus far only seen in flashbacks and only briefly. Hazel’s story is a fairy tale gone bad. We see how, as a child, she found her way to the Ether, and we see how the Ether revealed its darker nature. One that isn’t so fun. One that’s more Grimm’s Fairy Tales for HBO than Adventure Time.
Ron Randall immediately grabs your attention with the cover page, as he introduces the main character among a barrage of weapon fire and amazing contrasts of color. Trekker: Rites of Passage defines what a tough, intelligent, and skilled, fighting female character looks like as Randall showcases Mercy St. Clair, a “trekker” – otherwise known as a bounty hunter. The cover is surrounded with vivid pops of orange, blue-green, and white colors, while Mercy doesn’t flinch as she looks back to fire her weapon in the face of a massive assault.
Thy will be done.
The world is a bit of a mess right now. There’s a lot of crazy out there hiding behind religious texts that align with their particular brand of hating folks or perpetrating terrible acts that may not have unanimous support of modern communities. It’s not just one religion that people are using out there, either. There are sects of just about every major religion (and slews of minor ones) that twist doctrine to make their specific brand of awful justified. Why do I bring this up in a comic review? Well, Leonie O’Moore’s Lord tells just such a tale, and while its protagonist is a sympathetic character to a considered majority of the population, there are those who would brand this book as pushing an agenda rather than being a wonderfully aware British-Countryside horror (Think of the movies that Hot Fuzz was based on.) that feels like it could be just as relevant in today’s world as the time period that it’s based in.
When I first opened this book, I was thrown for a bit of a loop. It’s published by Dark Horse, so I assumed it would be a graphic novel. It’s not. It’s a regular text novel of nearly 300 pages. Since these require a much bigger investment of time than comics do, I probably wouldn’t have volunteered to review it had I known up front. That said… I’m glad I did. This was a rollicking space adventure that I honestly didn’t want to put down.
Before we really get started on this review, I need to mention something, and this goes for series creators Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. You two are really making it tough to do my job here, because what is there to say about a book that has been consistently excellent for over two years? With the fourth part of the “Imperial Phase” arc underway, the team of Gillen and McKelvie have brought things to a new level as the myth of The Great Darkness, a long-thought lie of Ananke, proves to not be so untrue, doing the very little thing of attacking members of the Pantheon.
It’s a web series for the ages. Well, at least the period of the Renaissance. Okay, to be more precise, Knights of New Jersey is a web comedy series following actors through their funny exchanges with each other, cosplayers, and visitors at the Renaissance Faire. Sometimes, these moments end in a bruised ego, in more ways than one, and the overall result presents great onscreen chemistry and an entertaining comedy that seems like a seasoned ongoing series.
Being a superhero or supervillian is tough. Being a process server who serves them is even tougher. Just ask brothers Clive and Cheech and their rag-tag team in Serving Supes.