Arbaz Mohammad Khan, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor

Arbaz Mohammad Khan, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor

To put it frankly, Black Stars Above is one of the most intimate comic books I have read in 2019.  The series is about a fur trapper (Eulalie Dubois) that leaves the burden that her family places upon her to find herself by wandering into the wilderness during a wintered cosmic hazard in 1887. Our protagonist Eulalie Dubois has left the confines of her family’s fur trapping business to deliver a parcel to an unknown town in the northern wilderness. Unbeknownst to her, there is a darkness enamored with what she holds.

This collection is a joyous showcase of great scenes from the Final Fantasy series that are blended with our everyday items, including great still images of Chocobo miniatures adventuring past a field of tennis balls or Cloud and Sephiroth miniatures fighting their iconic showdown atop an open can representing the Nibel Reactor tower.

The latest (and penultimate) issue of Criminal offers new insight for this series arc, with Brubaker leaving readers with a surprising cliffhanger. While Brubaker is entrenched with all-things noir, this series consistently demonstrates his mastery of comic book storytelling. He has created a fantastically atmospheric issue while diving deep into character explorations, fueled with fantastic anxiety of the consequences of their actions.

As a series that is steeped in themes of the disparate, it is only fitting that the innovative comic book series, East of West, conclude on something radical: love. Through the series' yearning sensibilities within its amalgamation of genre, writer Jonathan Hickmas has weaved grandeur into the emotional arcs of these characters. 

For years, Samurai Jack comic book adaptations have always captured the intersection of nostalgia and new adventure. From the time that the animated series left the air, the comics have acted not as supplemental material, but as a means of logging Jack’s adventures in a strange, new land. Now, with the collection of Samurai Jack: Lost Worlds, readers have the chance to read about Jack’s other adventures.

In a return to the science fiction action epic series from Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri, Brandon Thomas uses the fear and anxiety that modern America tackles in our current political climate to further his new adventure. In Hardcore: Reloaded, we follow Agent Drake who begins to lose faith in the program he once believed in.

In a clash of two different cultures, Sonata serves as a newfound space saga. Here, we observe one group that is war mongering and another that strives for peace. From the get-go, writer David Hine excels in establishing this world; it’s grim and dark, going out of its way to display fabled creatures that act as their own deities. In weaving his tale, Hine and co-writer Brian Haberlin create a slow burn to be savored by the reader for the entirety of the series.

The beautiful visual aesthetics of the cyberpunk adventure game, Read Only Memories, have come to the comic book page in this comic book adaptation. In the Christmas of 2064 in Neo-San Francisco, CA, Parallax has created a product called ROMs (Relationship and Organizational Managers), a set of personal assistant robots made to replace phones and computers. The role of the player is to be a journalist searching for their lost friend and Parallax engineer Hayden Webber. During this adventure, they’re aided by Turing, who is created by Hayden and the first of sapient machines, robots that are capable of emotions and can grow.

There are a myriad of crime dramas that have tackled the war on drugs in some aspect. Shows like The Wire, Breaking Bad, Snowfall, Weeds, Powers, Scarface, and Sons of Anarchy have all touched on this modern epidemic. The fascination of the series, Narcos, was witnessing the biographical journey of cartel boss Pablo Escobar. Influenced by this premise, the four-issue miniseries broadens the conspiracy and harm that the international drug trade caused within the 1990s. For those interested in its history or for fans of the TV series, this new comic is an eclectic admiration.

Exploring the eerie forests in Japan, this ethereal, four-issue series is collected into a trade paperback with great depth of self.

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