Tortured Life (T Publications) is a 6-issue, supernatural/horror comic series about a man with an unusual curse. Richard Carter sees dead people – before they die. When his abilities first bloomed, he envisioned animals in their dead state while they were still alive; moments later, the animal would pass. As time went on, he experienced visions of people, seeing how they would die, even if it were years later. Soon, he only saw dead people as he walked through the streets.
I wish I had a better review for this collection. It delves into the specific type of sci-fi story I really love, it plays with some big themes (important secrets and the cost in keeping those secrets), alas, while it plays out the beats and tropes one would expect, it never really breaks free to offer the reader something truly dynamic. Writer Justin Jordan (The Strange Talent of Luthor Strode, Spread) and artist Ariela Kristantina (Death of Wolverine) with their comic series Deep State have set out to add their voices to what should be considered a subgenre of sci-fi stories that follows the exploits of secret, slippery government (or not-so-government) agents looking into dangerous paranormal and extraterrestrial incidences to make sure secrets are kept secret. Although, when a police man stumbles upon the scene of the crime, they’re pretty nice about it. Men in Black, X-Files, and Planetary all come to mind. And, while Deep State is a tightly constructed piece of storytelling, the first volume doesn’t add a lot to the conversation.
There’s a lot up there in outer space that we don’t know about – A. Lot. It’s so vast our brains can’t comprehend it. These days, due to the internet, science is able to remind us of this every couple of hours. The mystery hasn’t disappeared, but it’s being talked about a lot more, which makes the mystery to some degree more common, more diluted (Yes, I know how small we are in the grand scale of things, thank you!), so it’s nice to see when creators choose to inject some genuine awe and wonder back into it again and succeed. It’s also nice to know that I’m not so cynical as to not allow myself to be taken away by a kid sitting on his rooftop with binoculars every night, staring into the star-speckled skies, because he knows whatever it was that visited once, may visit again. This is the same wonder that made all those sci-fi films of the '80s so awesome. You saw the universe through the eyes of someone who wanted to know more, but didn’t know how in over their heads they were about to get.
I’ve wanted to get my hands on Dark Horse’s Lady Killer since day one. Jumping on at the second-to-last issue, I was hoping I didn’t miss too much, fearing this limited series may have already peaked. Suffice it to say, Lady Killer #4 is second-to-last perfection, offering an awesome taste of the story and demanding that the best is yet to come.
Finishing out the run of Abigail and the Snowman, a story about a young girl, Abigail, and her best friend Claude, a yeti, being chased by secret government agents, the writer and artist, Roger Landridge (The Muppet Show comics, Popeye), brings his four-issue story to a satisfying, although sometimes bumpy, conclusion.
Part adventure serial, part social satire, a group of scientists have traveled back into the distant, distant, distant, distant, distant, distant, distant, distant, distant, etc. past . . . our present. Yes, they come from so far in the future, it would be like us going back in time to an era we couldn’t even begin to comprehend – for me, it would be like waking up tomorrow, as this era is starting to lose me, which is where the keen satire makes its way in.
For a series with a limited run, pages are precious real estate. As such, readers anticipate a lot of concise storytelling with packed page turns. And, when dealing with a book with action roots, the calm before the storm and the storm itself are addressed more often than not in the same issue. I have been reading Eternal since day one, anticipating a third issue packed with answers and leaving me with an eager anticipation for the last chapter. Instead, Eternal #3, written by William Harms, with artwork from Stefano Simeone, and a cover from Frazer Irving, is a quiet reflection of what has passed, leaving a weighted intrigue of what’s to come.
Brian Buccellato (Detective Comics, The Flash) not long ago ran a Kickstarter campaign for a transmedia experiment that would tell a story in both comic book form and short film format. Sons of the Devil #1 is the beginning of the comic book story. For all of those that donated and all wondering if the Kickstarter would have been a worthwhile donation, the answer is yes. It’s paid off to such a degree that Image Comics is publishing it.
My first question is: Why isn’t this on television? A place mostly void of intelligent, female-centric entertainment that is equally hilarious, I become more and more angered at the television billboards I see scattered across LosAngeles of five-men-and-two-women sitcom casts with no real differentiation between the female characters who giggle and coo at the camera.
Getting a reaction from someone immediately is probably the best way to draw someone into a story. Using humor is one of the strongest ways to go about doing this. Brian Wood (DMZ, Moon Knight), writer of the new series, Rebels, made me laugh multiple times in the first 2 pages. Win!