This is it. After nearly three years and three volumes, Velvet #15 marks the end of the storyline. And, how do we open it? With Velvet Templeton, our intrepid hero and rogue agent for lo these three years, lying dead on a slab, as the agent who’s been after her for much of that time relates the story of their final battle.
It looks like the current volume of Think Tank: Creative Destruction is ending with this issue. That is a very sad thing, because this book has been awesome from the very beginning. But even with this shortened volume, it's has been a great series, full of hard facts, rebellious scientists, and awesome technology. It's also showing the not-so-slow destruction of David Loren, one of the most interesting lead characters I've ever seen in a comic book series. He has a genius-level intellect, and he's also a narcissistic jerk who usually tends to only think about what is good for him. Throughout this volume, David has shown some uncharacteristic compassion which has only made things more complicated.
I have a little list.
I mentioned in the last issue review that things we’re awkwardly transitioning from a mostly self-contained story into a long-running series, and there’s a wonderful sight gag in this issue where Skottie Young owns it completely and forges on. That’s one of the things that I love so much about this series, that much like other fourth-wall shattering heroes (not a hero), this book takes great fun in mocking itself and the medium with a gentle tongue-in-cheekiness that is endearing and a big relief for those who may be a little burned out by the cape and tights set. He’s providing comic relief for the industry, because while certain tropes can be engaging if done right or turned on their head, for the most par,t they get repetitive. It’s wonderful to watch a keen wit send them up issue after issue.
“Maybe we’ve finally entered the Twilight Zone. Really, it was bound to happen.”
These worlds are spoken by Jen, the Lumberjanes' long-suffering and continually frazzled camp counselor. She longs for normalcy and calm but inevitably gets reality-bending, supernatural chaos instead. Really, at this point, what else should she expect as the “responsible adult” in charge of the adventure-magnet Lumberjanes. And nothing has changed as she’s taken on temporary babysitting duties for the recently arrived group of Gotham Academy students.
Like Matt Kindt, I have a standing fear of the ocean. It’s not enough to keep me out of the ocean at the beach, but it is enough to make me trepidatious those first few waves. It’s when the unknown meets with the imagination. So long as the ocean stays in its place and lets me stay in mine, we’re cool.
House of Penance is the most hypnotic and spellbinding comic book on the shelves. The imagery flows like water down a stream - twisting, swirling, and cascading. It’s natural and fluid. It’s haunting, unnerving, and you can feel its pulse, like a heartbeat. There’s nothing else that looks and feels like this in the comic book industry. Peter J. Tomasi and Ian Bertram know how to lull you into their dream state. The exaggerated eyes of the characters are windows to otherworldly souls. The red plasmic intestines, the visualization of the curse that haunts Sarah Winchester, that fills the panels and allows the violent subtext of the characters to brim to the surface. It’s unnerving. I feel like they have a handle on symbolism better than most comic creators. Dave Stewart’s colors help to create this vibe, allowing Bertram’s artwork to dig into the subconscious. He walks the line between creating a real-world setting and a portal into a sort of nightmarish netherworld. The spaces shift and change from panel to panel. Is Sarah living her dreams or is there something truly alive just below the surface?
Did you hear about the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted?
It’s no secret to anyone who’s read my reviews before that I have a special place in my nerdy heart for the world of Krynn as told through the magnificent stories of Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. One of the biggest draws to the series was the frail Mage Raistlin Majere, a fascinating character who - during the adventure - chose to follow the dark god whose designs he was helping to foil. The Dragonlance Legends told of his continuing ambitions and adventures, along with his brother Caramon and the Kender Tasselhoff Burrfoot. Centering on Raistlin’s dark designs for the world, readers are in store for a time-traveling adventure of high fantasy wherein the gods themselves tremble at the repercussions.