Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a great story. It’s simple, it has a good message, and it’s got some really great imagery. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have at least a cursory familiarity with the tale, as it has been adapted and reimagined countless times throughout the years. Some of these adaptations are successful, but most feel like tired retreads of the same traditional story. One of the most recent adaptations is Rod Espinosa’s Dark Horse graphic novel, A Christmas Carol: The Night That Changed the Life of Eliza Scrooge, and, unfortunately, it lands squarely in the latter camp.
During the episode "The Power of Three," the Doctor shows up at Amy and Rory's anniversary party and whisks them away in a whirlwind of adventures. We merely got glimpses of what transpired during this trip through a montage. This issue explores that time as it takes place during one of the stops.
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
Hypernaturals is a sci-fi, superhero, mystery, action—let's stop and just say it's got a little bit of everything. The Hypernaturals are superpowered and trained individuals who guard the Quantinuum, the massive computer system that provides communication and knowledge to all ofthe planets; it's like a galactic internet only a gazillion times smarter.
In Destiny's Fate, a group known as the Defenders of the Fourth Dimension protects the time stream and fate itself, preserving it as it is meant to be, but another group, known as the Assassins, works to take back control of fate. Destiny's Fate seems to center around a single family, the Ryders, some of whom belong to the Defenders and others to the Assassins. This first issue doesn't provide a solid reason for the war between the two groups, which made me hesitate to root for Nile and his fellow assassins, who don't have clear motivation for going through time killing certain figures.
The missing background elements aside, the actual premise itself is a lot of fun with a mix of sci-fi and fantasy conventions. The idea of skipping through and fighting in different periods of history is a great concept that will take this series far, if used right. Issue #1 already shows a willingness to use locations in time that aren't often visited, such as different points in Japan's history. Destiny's Fate #1 is action packed, with a complete adventure of Nile and his companions while providing a solid foundation for the setting, some of the rules of time travel, and laying the ground work for the issues to follow. The pacing and dialogue are excellent with a relatable and funny narration provided by Nile.
The concept of Crossover is brilliant---a team of adult comic book creators re-visiting the characters they created when they were kids. Unfortunately, it falls a bit short in execution, and doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its premise.
Popular girl Ruby Kaye wins a pair of super-power granting glasses in a game of strip poker and becomes the superhero known as Geek-Girl, but there's a cost to super strength and flight, super klutziness! “With Great Glasses Comes . . . Great Klutziness . . .”
The premise behind Geek-Girl is a nice reverse of the Clark Kent idea of a hero wearing glasses when he's in his civilian identity. I really like the themes Johnson and Stone-Thompson are exploring with Ruby no longer fitting into her click as one of the “cool kids” and having to become comfortable with who she really is. Artist Sally Stone-Thompson has a manga-inspired black and white style which makes use of minimal setting to focus on the characters. Emotions are clearly displayed on characters' faces, which heightens the cartoon comedy of Ruby's klutziness and college drama.
Previously in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Casey Jones came to the turtles after being beaten up during his father's latest intoxicated stint of violence. True to his aggressive idiom, Raphael sets out to find Casey's dad in order to prevent him from doing this again.
This may come as a surprise to you, dear reader, but I happen to be a huge Doctor Who fan. On the other hand, I have not been the biggest Star Trek fan. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy most of the movies and what episodes I have seen, but I have never been devoted enough to consider myself a Trekkie or Trekker. But, when I heard that IDW was doing a crossover between the two I said, “Make it so.”
Jim Zub’s Skullkickers is an amazing concept. He has created two characters that do everything you are never supposed to do in a fantasy roleplaying game. His characters brutally kill anything in their path, never ask why they’re doing it, and are always terribly drunk while doing it. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe that is the way you should play a roleplaying game. Zub has done such a good job establishing his characters that every once in a while, he takes a month off from crafting amazing Skullkickers tales and let’s some of the best talent in the industry play in his crazy fantasy world. This is how we get Tavern Tales.
After the end of the Hundred Years War, rebuilding begins for all of the nations, but a new conflict breaks out surrounding the Fire Nation Colonies in the Earth Kingdom, which are really a blend of both peoples and cultures. The Earth Kingdom wants the colonies rightfully restored to them, the Fire Nation believes they should remain under their protection, and the colonies themselves just want to keep their community together.