The dawning of a new era in a publishing company is a wonderful thing, especially when you can watch it from the very onset and see it develop. This is the case as we watch the newest publishing imprint of Starburns Industries, SBI Press, begin to release their newest works to the world.
Chuck Palahniuk is one of the most brilliant and prolific writers of this era, with several major novels to his name and some of the most thought-provoking and occasionally terrifying stories that have been written. While it's not my favorite of his novels, Palahniuk will likely always be remembered for Fight Club, his opus about mental illness, chaos, and toxic masculinity, among other things. The film adaptation, despite being a bomb during its release, is a cult favorite, and Palahniuk's work, while controversial, has been more and more interesting as time has followed.
In a book in which things go south quickly all of the time, it's worth saying that things are headed in that direction with haste after the revelations of the last few issues. With everything happening and things coming to a head, true identities are revealed, intentions are dug up, and the gods we've spent so long with are truly reaching the final days of their two-year lifespan. Without giving away too much, Minerva's recent admissions are bringing out the worst in some of the gods, and Woden's antics are actually beginning to show some promise for the first time in quite awhile.
So it comes. With the release of this issue, we begin what is dubbed as the final year of this series. That likely means with two more arcs, along with a few specials, this series will be officially wrapped up. This is bittersweet, since this has been a great series, but now we finally get the answers we've been waiting a long time for. There's been a lot of speculation about how this series is going to play out, and to finally be on the precipice of reading it is very exciting.
As the series has gone on, one of the pillars of each The Wicked + The Divine arc is that, as a precursor, we get a look at our beloved gods at a different point in their lives during one of their short, two-year stays in the world of the living.
I've long been a fan of the Mass Effect franchise, and the tie-ins that have been released have been yet to disappoint. With the release of what is being predicted as the last Mass Effect game, Andromeda, Dark Horse published Mass Effect: Discovery, a story set before the events of the game that focuses on the early goings of the Andromeda Initiative, a galactic exploration program set to find new worlds to colonize beyond the Milky Way Galaxy. With many suspicious of the inner workings of the Initiative, the Turian government sends in one of their own, Tiran Kandros, as an undercover agent to find out if their suspicions are correct.
It feels so good to get back into this series. After missing a few issues in the current arc, seeing it come to a close is bittersweet. On one hand, seeing it end is sad, because the book is amazing, but on the other hand, the book is amazing. Really amazing. The Wicked + the Divine is one of the most out-there books on the market, but it's also super popular and for good reason.
The second volume of one of the weirdest and most fun Image Comics series is here, and with it comes more magical mayhem, thanks to our spell-casting friend, Wizord. With his companion Magaret in tow (who has now become a bird, instead of her awesome koala self), Wizord is set to save the world from the evil Sizajee, a deity from Wizord's home world that is bent on destroying Earth and taking it for himself. That plan has, thus far, been foiled by his former protege, and Wizord has dispatched all of the evil mages that have been sent his way - with the exception of his ex-lover Ruby Stitch, who is there but not quite herself. Stitch is a major focus of this volume, as she attempts to regain her powers (which were taken by Wizord during their battle) and potentially gain revenge on her former beau.
Most comic book fans know of Sex Criminals by now, whether it be from reading the book, hearing about it from friends, or seeing the multiple and ridiculous social media posts form its creators, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. That being said, for those who aren't familiar, Sex Criminals is a comic book series about a young couple, Jon and Suzy, who have some very interesting abilities - namely, that when they have sex, they can stop time after they complete the act. Using this ability, they do what any decent human being with sex powers would do: rob banks. This conceit is the basis of what the story is about, though, it also turns out to be about so much more. The second volume of the series begins to take a turn with our sexy protagonists, as they've come to know that they are not the only people in the world with these kinds of powers. In fact, there are several, and some of them are not too happy with what Jon and Suzy are up to. A huge, ten-issue volume, things go from bad, to weird, to worse for our stalwart crew of morally ambiguous deviants.
The Dragon Age franchise has a lot of incredible entries, with several hit games in its past. Through Dark Horse Comics, that lineage has continued with several popular and well-done comic books in this universe, and Dragon Age: Knight Errant is no exception to the rule. The story focuses on an elven squire who leads a double life as follower of her knight, and as a thief who uses her position as a cover for her secret occupation. This gets complicated as the elven squire, Vaea, is asked to handle a task for the Inquisition, an organization that is well known to those who have spent time inside the world of this franchise. This narrow path leads Vaea into uncharted territory and potentially puts her at odds with both the knight who saved her from her past life and with those who would look to take the objects she targets for themselves.