The world is a big, scary place right now. Things are changing that are very much beyond our control, and the world that we lived and laughed in just months ago seems like an alien memory, fading with time. What's amazing is how much people are pulling together at all levels, whether it's a bakery keeping its doors open by selling flour and yeast to home bakers, or a community taking care of its elder members by buying them groceries. There is a level of unity that is foundational to the way we live our lives and our willingness to put ourselves out there for others.
The creators of Deiciders have returned with another chapter in a mythical quest featuring warriors hunting down fantastic creatures. Deiciders #2 has Ulfrith and Olaf continuing on from the end of their journey in Issue 1, where they battled a pair of gigantic wolves. This time, they’re on the hunt for a fire-breathing dragon, but their previous battle has left them injured and in need of help. Should they trust Freya, a stranger who seemingly helps them upon their first meeting?
First appearing in 1887, Sherlock Holmes is undoubtedly the world’s most popular fictional detective. (Sorry, Batman.) The character, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is so instilled in pop culture that most of the detective tropes we see today come right from classic Sherlock Holmes stories. With countless novels, award-winning TV shows, and summer blockbuster movies, it is impossible to escape the good detective in your favorite medium. While most of these incarnations are okay, they rarely say anything new. Where the challenge lies is adding to the Sherlock Holmes lore and not just re-imagining or rehashing what the series was built upon. Before hearing of Nancy Springer’s work and now Serena Blasco, I would have assumed that the Holmes world had been squeezed dry with the same characters, same stakes, same “who done its.” After reading An Enola Holmes Mystery: The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets, I have never been so happy to be wrong.
The Lab is a wordless story about a nameless, humanoid lab test subject that’s subjected to a litany of trials and experiments. The subject is held in spartan conditions in isolation, surrounded by countless others. While they are clearly being used for some kind of research, we never see the “researchers” whose presence is only hinted at with sophisticated technology that picks up the test subject and administers the test protocols, before depositing the subject back in its cell. In short, it’s a haunting look at the monotony of mechanized testing protocols.
One of the most important things a good story can do is hold a mirror to the world and reflect on it. Killswitch, by Jeffrey and Susan Bridges, provide that reflection in one of the most exciting and action-packed sci-fi stories of the year, and one that centers on a question: Do the ends justify the means?
Full disclosure here: I was totally new to the Heirs of Isildur (No, NOT Tolkien’s Isildur!) universe, and going in blind was kind of fun. As a primer, I watched a 5-minute long heavy metal music video that provided the context for the opening of Tales from Nocturnia #1. Not surprisingly, the music video also gave me an idea of what I was getting into. In short: a clashing of heavy metal and fantasy tropes that I have always kind of associated with Meat Loaf’s album covers.