Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

Unlike Barbalien #1 which is the other Black Hammer universe comic just released, Colonel Weird: Cosmagog may play better to people that have followed the main storyline. There are universal elements to the story, such as feeling lost and alone, but those elements aren’t the driving force behind the story of Colonel Weird. As we jump through his past as a bullied child, then as a space explorer in a sort of super fun, 1950s sci-fi way, and then as the scraggly bearded man who is losing his mind to all time and space, his main goal is to remember something he’s forgotten. My guess is that that something will connect back with the main storyline, as a big piece of this puzzle seems to be when Anti-God attacked the Earth, and before our heroes were sent to an old farm to live our their lives.

This newest issue of Nailbiter Returns is an enjoyable half step forward for the story. There are a couple of plot points sprinkled in and a couple minor cliffhangers, but the bulk of what’s happening in this issue could have taken place in a few pages, and ultimately that’s more than enough to keep me reading. There’s one plot point in this issue that I’m just going to have to accept as part of this reality; maybe it will be explained, maybe it won’t.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we often find ourselves becoming more introspective, reflecting on the people and things for which we are thankful. As we at Fanbase Press celebrate fandoms, this year, the Fanbase Press staff and contributors have chosen to honor their favorite fandoms, characters, or other elements of geekdom for which they are thankful, and how those areas of geekiness have shaped their lives and values.

We’ve reached a point in this chess game where every move is devastating, and Tynion IV and Dell’edera are not holding back. This is what it means for a character to have their back pinned against a wall. Erica Slaugher showed up in this small, “nothing ever happens here but bigotry” towns to save all of the children from monsters. She is a monster hunter that seems a bit out of her mind. I supposed I would be, too, if I hunted monsters. She has been joined by some of the people of the town who are willing to listen, to help as they may, which does not bode well for the House of Slaughter, or as we now know they are called The Order of St. George. Monster hunters that are more concerned about people knowing there are monsters and will do anything to stop the news from spreading.

Black Hammer’s epic, multi-year storyline started with an incredibly strong premise: What if Golden-Age superheroes were trapped on a Twilight Zone-like farm where they couldn’t leave? Then, it became about this family unit; the intoxicating characters were the most important aspect of the narrative, as the storyline sort of diminished and became secondary. Then, it became about stories. What do stories mean, why do they matter, where do they come from? And in its immensity, while the main series had a conclusion in that they overcame an adversary, it never quite felt final, because they didn’t all overcome their own problems, and thematic elements were just too big to tangle with.

When I finished reading the main storyline of Hellboy in Hellboy Goes to Hell, I was emotionally spent, intellectually stimulated, and 100% satisfied. “All good things” as they say, and this was a great thing that ended in the best way. You walk away from a reading experience like that as if you’re saying goodbye to a friend.

Alienated, on the simplest of levels, could be described as the anti-E.T. It’s about three loners in high school, each with a variation of the name Sam, who discover an alien entity in the woods and find that their innermost thoughts and memories become linked to it and each other. One Sam is an Anonymous self-styled vlogger who wants viral fame. Another Sam is a young woman who just wants to get out of this small town and reset her life. The third Sam is a Pakistani kid who is gay and tries to fill the void in his soul by trying to please literally everyone. They share a common trait in that they are holding on to deep-seated levels of anger, and now with inexplicable psychic abilities, the question is, how will they use that power?

I just had a very strong, visceral reaction to Crossover #1. I’m not sure if it was spiritual or emotional or maybe a little bit (or a lot) of both. I’m writing as I process it, but I want to cry, which doesn’t usually happen after the first issue of a comic book, and there’s a lot of reasons for that.

You know how in spy and espionage movies the characters seem to set up an impossible series of things in advance, so just when you think they’re done for, we see a flashback of all the stuff they set up or already thought of just so they can make it out of the current, very specific situation and we’re always meant to think, “Oh, wow, clever!”, when really it’s absolutely absurd? Well, Chelsean Cain and Lia Miternique just sent that trope up in a blaze of beautiful glory while still staying 100% faithful to the super spy and mermaid-laden world they’ve created.

Issue #5 of Bang!, the end of the first story arc, comes with a bang of a story change up. It wasn’t completely unexpected on my end, but I don’t think that was the point. We’re still only just getting to know our team of pop culture-inspired heroes, and throwing them too big of a curve ball would be a waste of emotional storytelling this early on. Our team includes: Thomas Cord (our nifty James Bond) who shares a history with Paige Turnier (who is a sort of 80-year-old Jessica Fletcher by way of Jacques Clouseau), Dr. Queen (a high-tech, gizmo-laden Emma Peel who relies on her suit to stay upright as her back was broken), and John McCl—ahem Shaw, John Shaw who is a riff on John McClane of the Die Hard franchise, and who, no matter where he goes, always seems to be without shoes. This is, of course, all completely bonkers and rightfully so, as a Philip K. Dickian writer named Philip Verve has assembled them to take down a worldwide evil organization called Goldmaze.

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