Spencer & Locke 2 hits stores on May 1, 2019, as it continues a well-established story featuring a fierce detective (Locke) and his imaginary partner-in-crime (Spencer). After its five Ringo Award nominations in 2018, including Best Series, the “Calvin and Hobbes meets Sin City” team is back, leading fans into the near future beyond those events of the first story arc.

There is something timelessly charming about the Firefly universe and its carefree, witty cast of unflappable characters.  If I were to try to define it, I would say that Joss Whedon successfully married three very different genres:  Westerns, science fiction, and romantic sitcoms.  The Western aspect of it comes alive in the backstory and legacy of the characters.  One could imagine the exact same cast making their way across the expanse of the unsettled great west shortly after the end of the Civil War.  The author, Greg Pak, does a great job of keeping this vibrant ethos alive in the 152 pages of this collective work.  He force lands our heroes on a sparsely settled moon where they pick up a job to escort pilgrims to the holy land – horses and wagons in tow.

The Tuskegee Airmen are the prime influence for Black Hammer ’45, as a squadron of pilots during Black Hammer’s version of WWII. This version of WWII is bonkers in all of the perfect ways. Superheroes and supervillains weave in and out, giving us some chaotically fun dog fights, with giants guarding the borders of countries, Russians marching along in giant mech suits, and in the midst of this, the heroes of the Black Hammer squadron doing their best to complete their mission – sans powers.

When it comes to the sword and planet genre, Edgar Rice Burroughs was certainly the genre progenitor with his Barsoom series of books starring John Carter. Maybe not as renowned as the Barsoom books, but just as beloved, is Burroughs’ other sword and planet line, the Venus series with Carson Napier. This series of books imagines Venus (long before the Soviet Venera probes exposed the planet as a hot, harsh, and unforgiving place) as a oceanic planet, much like Earth. While the Venus series of books concluded decades ago, Napier’s adventures continue in other media, with American Mythology’s comic series, Carson of Venus: The Flames Beyond being the newest story arc.

I wish I had a more inspired rationale for why I choose the comics I'm going to read. Many are either properties I already like or recommendations from other fans. When it comes to finding new works, I tend to choose based on the cover and title. The one good thing about this is that I often go into stories with little to no expectations which is exactly how I approached Ghost Tree #1.

Well, bah. I’m late to the party for Descender, but not too late to get in on the ground floor of Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s continuation in the upcoming series, Ascender.  The original series centered on Tim-21, a robot who lived in a galaxy where androids were illegal and humans hunted them. The new series carries over a few characters from the previous series, along with introducing new ones, but with a fantasy twist.

The quirky jewel heist/buddy comedy continues, as suave jewel thief Mia Corsair and socially awkward hacker Brenda (a.k.a. “Killa-B”) prepare to steal the famed Net of Indra in broad daylight from a museum exhibit. The two are still working to bypass the exhibit’s security system, but Brenda can’t seem to concentrate, as she’s too busy thinking about her secret crush, a woman named Tallulah Blue who posts in the same online forum as “Killa-B.”

On a normal day in a supermarket, people gather to partake in a daily tradition. Something we don’t even think about; it’s second nature. We’ve moved from hunters and gatherers to purchasers and complainers. Customer service has taken on the slowly evolving task of the big hunt. We hunt for coupons now: deals - the ability to go about our business without being bothered. This is how the story of Dark Rage - inspired by true events - begins. Moments later, men in white masks, armed to the teeth, lay waste to nearly a dozen shoppers. It’s bloody, it’s tragic, and it changes the lives of two women who become inexplicably tied together, forever.

It's been said for awhile now that the end is fast approaching for both the gods inside The Wicked + The Divine and the book itself, but with only two issues remaining, this has never been more true. As the final battle with Minerva and the revelations of the previous issues come to a head, there is a lot to unpack right now. Laura and the other gods have banded together and set themselves up for their final confrontation. All there is left to do now is save the world and potentially kill themselves in the process.

Their peaceful life in Austin ended in a conflagration, and the Bowmans have found themselves on the run once again. Out of options, and with Bartlett's survival hanging in the balance, the family makes their way to a place where even vampires fear to go. Issue nineteen begins a new chapter in Donny Cates and Lisandro Estherren's supernatural/western saga that promises to be as gripping as it is game-changing.

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