The Hunger Games film series may have wrapped up last month, but there’s still a wealth of Hunger Games material for fans to devour beyond the three novels by author Suzanne Collins and the four feature films based upon them. Of Bread, Blood, and The Hunger Games: Critical Essays on the Suzanne Collins Trilogy, published by McFarland and edited by Mary F. Pharr and Leisa A. Clark, is a collection of well-written and thought-provoking essays focused on The Hunger Games series and is a perfect example of the kind of enriching and delicious remedy that will help those fans experiencing the effects of Hunger Games withdrawal in this post-Mockingjay world we live in.
With their seventh issue, Alterna Comics and the creative team behind Satanic Hell, attempt to wrap up the mini-saga of a rebellious and rambunctious rock band’s struggle against an iron-fisted and oppressive religious authority ruling over the state of Texas. While the series finale features a number of revelations and forward momentum, the open-ended feel may leave some readers with more questions than answers and a hankering for some Satanic Hell-style closure in the form of further issues.
Writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre) and artist Nat Jones (28 Days Later: The Aftermath, Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer) continue their dark and gritty post-apocalyptic monster saga with the two latest issues of Broken Moon from American Gothic Press and Famous Monsters of Filmland. While the story elements themselves may, at first glance, seem derivative and overdone (werewolves vs. vampires), Niles and Jones use their considerable talents to bring this dark and exciting “monster mash” to life with new concepts and an unexpected freshness!
American Gothic Press is feeding the comic community’s kaiju-addiction again with the release of the second issue of Project Nemesis, written by Jeremy Robinson and featuring the art of Matt Frank. Playing on some of the classic tropes of the genre (fire-breathing monsters, mad scientists, experiments combining man and monster, etc.), Project Nemesis continues - in its second issue - to be a series that is full of terrifying creatures, exciting action, and a heavy dose of fun!
While the financial success of The Hunger Games franchise, as well as its undeniable cultural impact across the globe, has it made it a hit with readers and movie-goers everywhere, many of my fellow peers in Geekdom still seem hesitant to embrace the series for the important, powerful, and well-crafted sci-fi epic it truly is. Featuring a captivating and relatable heroine, a complex and fascinating post-apocalyptic society, and an undeniably powerful message regarding where we are now, as a people, and where the future, and our own actions, may take us, The Hunger Games novels and films are exactly the type of intelligent and engaging material sci-fi fan and self-described geeks regularly seek out. Yet, much like Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer before it, The Hunger Games has suffered from the prejudices of those who have little to no knowledge of the series and view it as something it is most certainly not: a poorly written, ultra-soapy YA romance resembling Twilight with bows and arrows.
The Fanboy Comics crew - including FBC staffers Barbra Dillon, Bryant Dillon, and Tony Caballero - offer their reactions (SPOILERS) to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 after attending last night's opening.
With the release of the final issue, this week sees the conclusion of the Image Comics’ series, Reyn, written by Kel Symons (The Mercenary Sea) and featuring the artwork of Nate Stockman (Anti-Hero). A unique blend of science fiction and fantasy, Reyn is a series that has unraveled slowly, but for those that have been following the twisting and turning tale, the payoff in the final issue is significant. Image Comics has really been cutting its teeth with quality science fiction series like Saga, Tokyo Ghost, and others, and Reyn certainly belongs in those ranks!
Back in September, I had the opportunity to interview comic book writer Mark Millar, and while the entire interview was incredibly captivating, I was specifically intrigued by his mention of his upcoming project, Huck, that he described as a “Frank Capra superhero tale.” This upcoming week will finally see the release of the first issue of Huck, which is published by Image Comics and features Millar partnering with acclaimed artist Rafael Albuquerque of American Vampire. With its pilot issue, Huck marks a real departure in tone for Millar and gives the writer, Albuquerque, and the rest of the creative team a chance to shine in a comic book industry overshadowed by a plethora of dark, gritty, and hopeless superhero sagas.
This month marked the release of the second issue of the dark, post-Katrina vampire series, Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water (written by Mark Landry and with artwork by Ashley Witter), published by Titan Comics. As I mentioned in my previous review, not all of the villains in Bloodthirsty wear a set of fangs, and Landry and Witter’s second issue takes Coast Guard veteran Virgil Lafleur deeper into the dark, ragged street society of post-Katrina, as well as bringing him closer to those responsible for his brother’s death. Still, if Lafleur isn’t careful, he could easily share his brother’s fate.
In the recent Batman-heavy years, darkness has done DC Comics good, especially on the big screen. From Nolan’s Batman films, to the dark and drab feel of Man of Steel, to the gritty and gothic Gotham TV series, DC has perfected this skill for the brooding and brutal so sharply that many fans even wondered aloud whether DC Comics had forgotten the fun and adventure that also existed within their characters and worlds. Well, no answer could dispute that notion more clearly than the brilliance and excitement that is The Flash TV series. DC Comics has just recently released The Flash: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and if you haven’t yet had the pleasure of enjoying this amazing and addictive show, it is time to develop some super speed powers and catch up while you can!