The Kingdom is an area of land that is both self-sufficient and self-governing. It’s run by two brothers, Bruce and Robert, who are at odds with Sheriff Humbert on the outside in Cargill. People in the Kingdom live in relative peace, but when threatened, they aren’t about to let it go without a fight. After a wily and chaotic first six issues that dove almost immediately into an all-out battle between the Kingdom and Humbert’s men, the book has taken a sharp left turn into what was merely a subplot in the first six issues, but it was the story I was waiting for.
I wrote in my review about issue #24 of Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s Harrow County that it felt like a punch had been pulled just as it was about to land. The conflict between two friends, Emmy and Bernice, suddenly enemies, like a ticking bomb, was seconds away from exploding. At the last second, someone unexpected - though logical enough - slipped in and cut the blue wire. In spite of this, we were left with a cliffhanger: a foreboding one. In issue #25, that punch that was pulled has become a knife sinking into a gut. That explosion has been redirected elsewhere. To say it’s effective would be an understatement.
Issue #7 opens with a beautifully eerie, noir moment of headlights gradually approaching through the darkness. The brightness pops out of the dark surroundings but still distorts our ability to see anything clearly. Neil Gaiman is a narrative master of distorting fantasy and reality (The main character’s name is Shadow, after all.), and Scott Hampton’s illustrations perfectly capture that technique. In this series, we never really know whether we can trust what we see, especially with the frequent re-occurrence of magical illusions, ghosts, and gods.
The Mouse Guard Alphabet Book is exactly what it sounds like: an alphabet book grounded firmly in the fantasy world of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard cannon. For those who are entirely unfamiliar with the world of Mouse Guard, it is a fantasy space that centers on the trials and challenges of a mouse civilization whose collective survival depends on their adopting a united front in opposition to mouse-predators, such as ferrets, owls, and foxes. Mouse Guard, like many fantasy texts, has a bit of a medieval-inspired feel, and generally reminds this reader of Brian Jacques’ Redwall series.
Indie comics have always been a haven for the oddball, bizarre, and subversively humorous. Scapula and the Sinister Monster Doom Legion (created, written, and illustrated by Aidan Casserly) definitely checks off each one of those categories, and its lead character, while definitely earning his title of “the world’s worst villain,” has his own unique version of scummy, dirtbag charm that will certainly connect with specific readers who love crass, underdog baddies with lots of ambition.
Star Wars Adventures #1 is a mixed bag. Writer Cavan Scott tells two very different stories that do not seem to have much in common, as they are different and are not about the same characters. The first story is very much the writer telling the same tale as the one found in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This proves to be the stronger of the two stories for its consistency of voice and interesting story it plots. Most Star Wars fans know the scavenger, Rey, who they came across in Episode VII.
If you’re reading this review to try to decide whether or not to read Mark Millar’s original Kingsman: The Secret Service comic, chances are it’s because (much like me) you’ve seen and loved the movie. This means your main question will likely be, “How does the comic compare to the movie?” And the answer is… pretty well.
In 2014, The Evil Within video game was released to gamers who didn’t know what to expect. Touted as one of the scariest games since Silent Hill and the original Resident Evil games, The Evil Within shattered the horror barriers with an acid trip-like journey through a mind-bending world filled with creatures that created more than their fair share of nightmares. With the highly anticipated upcoming release of The Evil Within 2 on October 13, 2017, a comic series has never been better timed. But, with this, The Evil Within: The Interlude #1 (Titan Comics) has its work cut out for it to try to stand up to one of the best video games in years.