I was not expecting that. I started reading this first issue of Spy Island really having no idea what to expect, but I was not expecting that. And that, folks, that was amazing. The synopsis is in the title. We’re on an island in the Bermuda Triangle, and there are spies, but also - and hold onto your hats - because I’m not going to give away what else is on this island. Why would I ruin that?
Many of the Life Drawn graphic novels from Humanoids have a similar story device to help push the action forward, that of the first-person narrator. We get a firsthand retelling of (sometimes) real-life emotional turmoil, and, because of that, some of the books can start off feeling like an echo of something you’ve already read. This can be both welcoming, like returning to something you love, and at the same time toy ever so slightly with your patience, as you want the book to open new doorways into different lives.
A confluence of characters occurs in the final issue of the first story arc of Matt Kindt and Matt Smith’s Folklords, and while some questions are answered, many more arise, giving way to a grander story and a greater good that needs to be accomplished. I’m excited!
Something Is Killing the Children is so good. James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’edera are masterfully world building and character building all at the same time. Their dialogue-driven scenes are just as visually intense and psychologically involving as their action scenes. This is a masterclass is storytelling.
Nice. This issue of Bang! is a fun, clever, action-packed dissection and alteration of another hero from the pantheon of modern-day, box-office monoliths. The first issue turned the myth of the famed 007 on its head. Now, we enter the realm of one of my favorite actioneers: Die Hard. It took me two panels to figure out that this was going to be Matt Kindt’s take on the wearied, over-worked Detective John McClane who always seems to be caught in the midst of some kind of hostage situation. Kindt injects a fun twist into the McClane mythology that I’ll let you discover on your own, but I have to say: Giving a reason as to why he’s barefoot all the time is priceless.
The penultimate issue of Ronin Island has been released, and what an issue. As the Shogun makes a final attempt at the island, Hana and Kenichi finally speak to the underlying themess of racism and classism that have been a part of each of their journeys. It’s wonderful, and it’s emotional. Pak is a phenomenal writer, and I can’t help but relate to the frustrations felt by Hana. By telling a story so far from where I am and in such a different time period, he’s managed to speak to the most haunting truths of our modern society - right here in the great old US of A.
Blackwood is a wonderfully strange and absolutely charming series. It poses the following question: What if a group of modern-day, Breakfast Club-like, outcast college kids ended up at what is essentially Miskatonic University from the H.P. Lovecraft universe?
The fourth and final chapter in the first story arc of Tales from Harrow County is haunting and beautiful.
What would it be like to step into a hard-boiled Dali painting? That’s the question that King of Nowhere asks. That’s the situation that Denis, our dreamer, finds himself in.
Tomorrow deals with a premise I’ve seen tackled a few times recently, where a super virus within a computer begins to affect those in the real world with a weird strain of illness. It’s a potent allegory to take on: how technology and the endless landscapes of social media affect who we are as people. Peter Milligan’s take on the premise differs in two very different ways.