Jace and Tawnk’s bad day just went from bad to worse. The errand Jace thought would be a quick snatch-and-grab turned into a life-and-death encounter with a group of hungry aliens. Thus begins the third issue of Errand Boys (Image Comics), this season’s entertaining, intergalactic science fiction comedy written by D. J. Kirkbride (Amelia Cole, The Once and Future Queen).
Coda is thematically rich. Every turn of the story, every introspective thought, and every dialogue exchange relates back to the core of what’s really happening. Yes, there are big events, chaotic battles cascading with vibrant colors. There are cities with walls and giants! There are rotting Ylf heads that speak. There is raw fuel that creates magic called Akker, but everything is, ultimately, in its simplest form, nothing but background noise to the character flaw of our hero, Hum.
Magic! Adventure! Terror! Romance! DRAGONS! What isn't there to love about Dungeons & Dragons? For the uninitiated: Dungeons & Dragons is a tabletop roleplaying game. Basically, this means you assume the role of a character and then use dice to determine what that character does and how well it goes for them. The game is so wildly popular that it has spawned movies, games, books, and comics for decades. Which brings us to today's offering: Dungeons & Dragons: Evil at Baldur's Gate.
The ‘90s were a simpler time, when the general public still wasn’t 100% sure what computers were capable of, and all that a movie character had to say was, “I’m a hacker,” and suddenly they were the most powerful person on the planet. The '90s gave us movies like Hackers, wherein cracking a computer was essentially a video game, and The Matrix, wherein hacking literally gave you superpowers.
Who doesn’t love Rick and Morty?!? It’s like, the most popular thing ever, in all of time and space. Season 3 Episode 3, affectionately titled “Pickle Rick,” was an explosive moment in pop culture and basically pervaded over all hip party conversations for a hot minute. This comic book is basically like all of that stuff, but different!
One of the biggest plot points of Bitter Root is that people have to deal with monsters, and not just the ones with sharp teeth that eat little girls (although that definitely is part of the story). It’s about how people fight back against the monsters we see every day, hiding in the dark, lurking behind the scenes, and how we protect our own humanity.
Black Badge by Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins, and Hilary Jenkins is just getting warmed up. Gone is the episodic feel of the first three issues, as the hyper-advanced boy scout soldiers begin to unravel a mystery that has already begun to shake their foundations as a no-questions-asked team. With some serious revelations come larger questions and an expanded universe of characters.