Tie-in comics are generally kind of hit or miss, and that especially goes when they're tied to video games, a medium that generally allows for so much more expansive lore than any other medium can give. That goes even more so for games like the Mass Effect franchise, which is a huge, expansive universe that the games only scratch the surface of, in most single titles. As the video game series has gone on, we've learned a great deal, and that is usually gained through huge, eighty-hour playthroughs that take us on massive and beautiful journeys.
As another arc of The Wicked + The Divine passes, we are once again gifted a look into the past with another one-shot. This time, we turn to Rome, as the creative team takes a new view into the history of the once and now great civilization, this time focusing more on one of our less-attended-to Gods, Lucifer. While their passing in the main story was something both fans and the characters themselves still feel, getting a chance to give Lucifer the spotlight is a great way to still showcase the skills of the mischievous deity.
The Dragon Age franchise lives on, as Dark Horse Comics continues the tales of Thedas in the newest series based on the terrific gaming franchise. While this one is only adjacent to the franchise (unlike the previous series, Magekiller), this seems to be an added part of the lore, while Magekiller felt like it was directly from the canon of the games.
Simon Moore's situation seems to keep getting worse and worse with each issue of Hadrian's Wall. He's been given the runaround, betrayed, tricked, and manipulated by members of the crew, as it relates to the death of Edward Madigan, a member of the team, as well as the husband of his ex-wife, Annabelle. This would be enough for anyone to deal with, but there's also the lingering problem of Simon's pill addiction. Oh, and rebels from the Earth-settled planet Theta have taken over the ship, making things much more difficult. Good times, it seems, for Simon.
In the last near-decade, Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen made their mark on the world of comics in a big way with their hit series, Phonogram. After reading over 500 pages of the completed collection of the series, I realized two things: It's one of the most British things I've ever read, and it's also one of the most brilliant. Collecting the three major arcs (19 issues, along with some shorter pieces within the universe), The Complete Phonogram lives up to the hype the series has garnered as one of the most iconic series in recent history. With that being said, let's start the show.
The end of “Imperial Phase (Part One)” is here, and with it comes one hell of a party. This is a pretty stark contrast to the way the rest of this arc has gone, with most of it being a bit more dour, what with this whole “Great Darkness” thing coming, and all of the Gods being a bit more divided on the whole subject, and each other.
Back again is one of the best and most insane books in Image Comics' current roster, Curse Words. In this world, magic exists, and the magic in this world is mostly done by one guy - Wizord - who is, you guessed it, a wizard of sorts. In previous issues, he's used his totally legit magical powers to do some pretty great things; Wizord turned people platinum, shrank a baseball stadium, and basically impressed the whole world with his wizarding abilities. But during that time, there's been a whole other thing going on with Wizord's home world. There's been some major upheaval in the Hole World, mostly as its leader attempts to destroy Wizord for betraying him in this whole “Destroy the world” bit he has.
When we last left our crew of stalwart and increasingly more impatient Gods, they were doing what all large groups of Gods with limited time left and a rising threat on the horizon do: sit around and vote on what to do. With the Great Darkness in retreat for now, the group - in all of their wisdom - chose from three options: fight the thing, study it, or kind of just do whatever and who cares. The latter won out, because of course it did, and this issue gets the anarchy going in a big way. The factions of Gods have splintered once again, with several looking to study, some preparing for battle, and others doing anything (or anyone) that strikes them.
Awhile back, I was given the opportunity to review William Dickstein's Ch05En. In a unique world where science is able to figure out something spectacular, things aren't always as they seem. The world now has access to genetic mapping that can show a person if they have a latent gene, one that will allow for those with the gene to be someone of great importance, including those who have powers. Our lead for this second volume is the same as the first, the feral but soft-spoken Grizz. When we last left Grizz, he had abandoned his life as a teacher and superhero with the Global Heroes Society in favor of long-time lover and, at the time, adversary, Mische. This innovative ending sets up for the second volume of the series, which shows Grizz and Mische as the two are now on the run and attempting to move on with their lives.
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.