Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

An intellectual game of cat and mouse. Chess played by two masters. An unheard of skill, Trine is able to solve all mysteries just by knowing them, versus an assassin with skills and obsessive tendencies that make him very dangerous. How do you trick a person who knows what’s happening just because she knows and how do you use your mystery solving power to outsmart a killer who is freaking clever? This is the story in issue three of Mystery Girl.

Eric Heisserer, the man who will bring the Valiant universe to the silver screen, is a good writer. I like his work, but Lone Wolf 2100’s premise is a mix between an overtly complicated story and a series of ideas that I have seen before. It doesn’t surprise and it only provides brief moments of entertainment.

It feels like it’s been forever since I read Spire #5. This last month has been a long one. As I started to read Issue #6, I found that probably important details in this Miyazaki-inspired, political, fantasy thriller have slipped away. I remember how the previous issue began but not how it ended. It makes me wish there was a bit of a recap on the first page as there’s a lot of stuff happening in this story.

There’s something magical that happens when a story’s heart and talent is in the right place. A certain kind of synchronicity occurs that makes a reader exclaim things out loud as if they were part of the events themselves. I read the first issue of Venus on a whim and enjoyed it. That enjoyment has been enhanced tenfold in the second issue. The story concerns the first group of scientists going to Venus to try and inhabit it, but something goes wrong and they are left stranded and fighting to stay alive every second on their new home planet.

I’ve loved following the twists and turns of Matt Kindt and Scott Kolins’ Past Aways. Matt Kindt is an incredible writer. His Mind MGMT is genuinely superb. Past Aways is smaller scale but has just as many big ideas at play. This, the eighth issue, is one issue away from the end, and I feel disconnected from the now-central action of the story. This could be because the emotional center has suddenly shifted.

When you’re a politician and a demon hands you a gun at the beginning of Issue 3, you can bet it’s going to be put to use . . . but not necessarily in the way you think.

There’s a casual charm to Caitlin R. Kiernan and Daniel Warren Johnson’s Alabastar: the Good, the Bad, and the Bird, and maybe that’s because our hero, Maisie, is very laid back. Her closest friend is a bird with not only a sharp beak but a sharp tongue. Yes, it speaks – and not just in cryptic, “nevermore” phrases. It carries on full conversations with her that only she can hear. I have not read the first Alabastar series, but Maisie has been in mourning the past year, something she may just be getting over, but she carries that malaise around with her. She surrounds herself with death by passing herself off as a medium to the dead with the help of the bird. How this plays out . . . well, you’ll have to read the issue.

Joe Kelly (Deadpool, Elephantmen) and Max Fiumara’s (Deadpool, The Punisher) Four Eyes: Hearts of Fire is immediately sumptuous. Every panel is striking; from the words spoken to the coloring, a world is created here that is hypnotic and poetic. That alone makes it riveting, but this follow up to their first Four Eyes run from 2008 (which I haven’t read) also comes to life as one of the most intriguing ideas I’ve seen in a while.

I’ve looked forward to every issue of This Damned Band with each passing month almost more so than any other comic, because it’s radically different than many comics out there and done exceedingly well. The writing (Paul Cornell) is clever and cheeky, working both as sharp satire and character-driven comedy athletically jumping the gap between genres without falling into a pit of convolution. The art (Tony Parker) is wonderfully alive, capturing a vitality that borders the line between the realistic and ridiculous gracefully.

I’m currently in the midst of gobbling up Paul Tobin’s other currently running series, Colder: Toss the Bones, like melted chili and cheese on a hot dog. I love me some coneys. And, as I finish Issue #2 of his new series, Mystery Girl, there is no disputing that he can tell impressively good yarns starring characters with really interesting skill sets. Trine Hampstead, for instance, can solve any mystery just by being asked to solve it. She just knows the answer. She will give you the solution – to literally anything. So, she sets up out on the street like a palm reader and simply solves people’s problems. But, she doesn’t know how she came across her power.

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