The longstanding story of Hideyuki Kikuchi’s Vampire Hunter D enters beautifully into the comic book world. The anime-like illustrations by Michael Broussard make the reader feel like you’re watching an animated television series, which happens to be currently in development. The first of “over 30 novels based on the titular character” began its popular run in 1983 and has since “sold more than 17 million copies and has been translated into more than a dozen languages.”
Black Hammer #5 has the wandering poeticism of Alan Moore’s early work on Swamp Thing. The great thing about Jeff Lemire’s creation is that with multiple characters, each issue can skew in style and tone to match their perspectives, and by shifting perspectives with each issue, the depth to which we are beginning to understand these characters in only five issues is wondrous and heartbreaking.
I love Matt Kindt. I read his newest comic, Ether #1, with a huge smile on my face. I entered the first page having no idea what the story was about or what I was getting myself into and enjoyed it all the more for approaching it in such a way. I’m incredibly wary of giving away too much so that anyone who wants to read this book will have the same joy in experiencing it as I had. So instead, I will write about my reactions to the book and how it compares to Kindt’s more recent work.
As I’ve read and reviewed the Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy crossover event, I’ve extolled many aspects of this collision of two worlds that have seemed so wonderfully destined to collide. Delightfully funny and savvy characters coming together and interacting, whether they get along with each other or end up providing the story with entertaining friction - seeing both groups of kids trying to work in environments well out of their comfort zones, discovering what new skills and knowledge each group brings to the situation, and how they share those skills between themselves.
Tales from the Darkside is the more obscure Tales from the Crypt for those that don’t remember the mid to late 1980s. The horror anthology was created by George Romero in 1983 and ran until 1990, spawning Crypt and other impersonators and a feature film. A few years ago, a potential revival was pitched, and Joe Hill was brought in to work on the first five episodes. Hill’s work and family attachment to the project (His father contributed several stories to the show and to the film.) made him the obvious choice. While the project never got off the ground, IDW decided to partner with Hill again and bring those scripts to the still-passionate Locke & Key fans. Despite the best “graphic novel” treatment, it’s difficult for the story to not feel like you’re reading a half-baked film treatment.
Brian Haberlin’s telling a story I’ve been looking for for years: science fiction full of exploration and discovery, grounded in a clear interest in real(ish) science, more about the ship, its crew, and the things they encounter than blowing up bad guys. I mean, there are bad guys, and existential threats, and action…but, like in the best eras of Star Trek, these are there to heighten the drama – obstacles to overcome. They raise the stakes. They aren’t the point. There’s an inherent optimism and exceptionalism to it (again, much like Star Trek, to which Haberlin makes overt references on numerous occasions), and when the majority of science fiction offerings in popular culture have been focused on deadly aliens and laser swords for a number of years, Faster Than Light feels like coming home again.
Well, the Cubbies were off by a year of winning the World Series according to Back to the Future, but at least they finally won! In this day and age, however, you know director Robert Zemeckis and producer Steven Spielberg can release a special edition where Marty goes to the future of 2016 instead of 2015.