Gideon Falls is a mystery - both a psychological mystery and a supernatural mystery. The characters are tied together by threads, their individual histories creating a tapestry that’s slowly weaving together to form a greater picture, a picture that revolves around an ominous structure called the Black Barn, which feels right out of one of David Lynch’s nightmares. Presumably, inside this structure is a creature made of red eyes, shadows, and a smile that’s all teeth – too many teeth. The creature - or demon - spirit is unnatural in a way that doesn’t feel like it can be drawn, that it just sort of lives somewhere between the reality on the page and the space you’re inhabiting. It’s that feeling you get when you’re lying in your bed at night and you think you feel something staring at you from your open closet or in the shadows across the room. It’s this unnerving sensation that something is just out of sight - that can’t quite be given words - that affects all of the characters of Gideon Falls.
I’ve often heard the television show, Firefly, described as the best 14 hours of your life, followed by a lifetime of disappointment. It’s true. One of the greatest sci-fi shows ever created ended much too soon. Despite the follow-up movie (Serenity), some other releases via various media, and a massive, post-cancellation cult following fifteen years later, there’s been no solid comeback for the show in any format. And, with each passing year, it seems we will never experience the adventures of Captain Mal and his band of mismatched ruffians on television again.
The Quantum Age happens in the future of Black Hammer…or does it? My mind bent at the end of this issue. There are two Black Hammer series running at once, and I have no idea how the two series are going to wrap around in on themselves. What I do know is that something occurred that somehow got everyone to where they are in this series, and whatever happened in that series or after that series is affecting this series and maybe this series will affect that series. I’m dying to know! The end of this and the previous issue have left me breathless and gleeful. We’re seeing pieces of the puzzle completely out of order, and my mind loves puzzles.
Joe Golem: Occult Detective - The Drowning City. The world is full of mysterious dangers, with creatures and monsters out of the old serials. Mysteries abound in Manhattan, which was covered in water after an earthquake. The world of Joe Golem is like a radio play, and its characters are just as intriguing.
I was a little wary of this comic at first. On the one hand, I’m a massive fan of Dr. Horrible. (I even wrote a geeky love letter to him last year.) On the other hand, a comic where Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer are suddenly best friends sounded like it could easily fall into the realm of weird and gimmicky.
The third chapter of the Alien franchise has always been a divisive film and, thanks to Charles de Lauzirika’s fascinating and exhaustive behind-the-scenes documentary covering the making of four original films, the studio’s troubled and treacherous path to the final product is well known among fans. Author and pioneer of the cyberpunk genre William Gibson delivered one of the first drafts commissioned for a third Alien film and, while the screenplay never made it to the silver screen, Dark Horse Comics (and the talented Johnnie Christmas) have now breathed new life into this “alternate history” for the characters of survivor Ellen Ripley, Colonial Marine Corporal Dwayne Hicks, and young Newt.
Whenever I'm sitting down to review a comic, I ask myself a couple of basic questions. Is this piece something new? Am I enjoying my time with it? Does the artwork complement the writing and vise versa? And, assuming the piece is some form of adaptation or spin off, how true does it stay to the source material? That last part is especially important when it comes to Disney Afternoon Giant #1.