Image Comics presents a fantasy world filled with war and servitude. The Eternal Empress has been fighting against the countries of Saia for more than a century, and the red-tailed minions have been all too eager to punish those that halt her progress: either by failing to farm the lands or stealing food. The first issue introduces a young woman’s path as she struggles with her meager existence under the Eternal Empress, while strange visions cause her to question the life she’s living, and the glimmering thoughts push her to escape.
The gods are alive with the sound of music. Ancient gods return to the world every ninety years. They have a two-year run – meaning, they have powers and the ability to do a lot of damage - but in the end, they’re human. After these two years, some of which are surrounded by a rave of people dancing to beats, their lives come to an end. Do they have a larger role in the grand scheme of things? Is a short window of time only meant to absorb as much love and anger as humanly possible, or is there a coming darkness they’re supposed to stop, while they have time?
In Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County, a storm has been brewing - slowly building over the course of the last year. It's a showdown between friends - friends, I might add, with otherworldly powers that, at times, feel like magic straight out of the bayou or from around a cauldron. If you’re thinking curses, blood magic, humans created from soil – you’re not far off. Emmy is actually the offspring of the corpse of a witch, buried under the tree from which she died upon. Since she’s come of age, she has become the guardian of the haints (spirits, ghouls, what have you) of the woods and humans alike. Her friend Bernice, on the other hand, was taught by someone who delved in the dark arts who also protected the woods near Harrow County. Unfortunately, Bernice’s mentor recently died, and her course has been directed by another, slowly but surely leading to this issue.
The Eisner Award for “The Best Publication for Kids (ages 8 – 12) is the what. Writer and artist Faith Erin Hicks is the who. And The Adventures of Superhero Girl is the why. The 2014 award winner and Dark Horse Books will reintroduce Superhero Girl in a soon-to-be-released expanded hardcover edition, which will include new stories and artwork.
I’ve enjoyed Predator stories from time to time, but they can grow wearisome pretty quickly for me. Aside from humans and Predators joining forces on occasion, I haven’t seen anything that has really expanded the mythos for me in an interesting way since the first film. The films can be fun, some better than others, but even those often times lack the inspired nature of its cousin creation, the Xenomorph. Maybe it’s that I feel, aside from the first film, the nature of what it means to be the hunter and the hunted has never been truly explored. That being said, the Predator is only as interesting as the human characters trying to survive.
Each issue of the American Gods: Shadows series so far has provided absolutely brilliant covers. I greatly look forward to the artistic interpretation that jumps out and begs readers to jump in. For issue #4, both covers are stellar. Glenn Fabry and Adam Brown’s cover is filled with mystical excitement. There is so much to look at—from the silly face on the moon to the gritty teeth on the car’s bumper. It feels like the characters are heading on an amusement park ride but into someplace dark and gothic and intense. David Mack also continues to impress with his cover. I can imagine a whole wall of framed Mack American Gods covers. They are exquisite works of art. This one looks like decoupage meets pastels to create a perfectly beautiful silhouette. It is stunning.