Colder is a wickedly inspired horror series. Over three story arcs, it tells the story of Declan, a man in a waking coma whose body temperature continuously gets colder. Why does he get colder? Reece, his caretaker for a few years, sees him as a puzzle to be solved. Answers begin to come when Nimble Jack appears. Nimble Jack is what the Joker would be if Salvador Dali created him; he’s something directly from a dream…or nightmare. He’s a humanoid from a dark mirror universe that feeds off people’s madness. He is chaotic and unhinged, devilishly traipsing about the Boston cityscape, wreaking the most colorful of havoc on its denizens - manipulating people’s physical forms, changing the foundation of our perceived reality, and doing it all with a twinkle in his eyes. He may not be the hero of the story, but he is definitely the star. Whereas Jack creates and feeds off madness, Declan can cure it, but every time he does, he gets colder.
I fell in love with Bloom County at a young age, reading one of the earliest volumes that I found at a bookstore that was going out of business. As one of my first experience with comics, it was a great introduction to a world of silly gags, biting wit, and incredibly insightful observations. It's spurned a life-long love of Berkeley Breathed's work, and I was very excited to see this new volume of his work being released.
I Am a Hero Omnibus 4 may be the most visceral chapter of the series yet while retaining all of its glorious eccentricities. Hideo Suzuki and Hiromi find themselves forced to integrate with a group of survivors on top of an outlet mall as a horde of zombies below keep the survivors from precious, necessary food. These hordes of zombies aren’t your typical zombies, but Hideo isn’t your typical hero, and Hiromi is far, far, far from your typical woman in distress.
The opening epigraph of Mike Garley, Lukasz Kowalczuk, and Lukasz Mazur’s Samurai Slasher: Late Fees reads, “Remember, kiddo: not every story has a happy ending.” This epigraph is apt, as Late Fees is an exploration of coping mechanisms that artists and everyday humans alike take on as they live and work through unhappy, and sometimes even traumatic, situations.
Last month, I feel as if I was writing about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles all the time! Between TMNT Ongoing, TMNT Universe, and TMNT Dimension X, I want to say I wrote about my favorite mutant superheroes (Are the any other mutant superheroes, though?) every week for more than the month of August. But September has been quite extinct of New York’s only pizza-loving reptiles.
You read about cartels. You read about the violence and murder that exists south of our border. It sounds scary, frightening, and unimaginable. I know people whose family members went on vacation and simply didn’t come back alive. A location scout on Narcos was just found dead, riddled with bullets, sitting in their car. These little glimpses we see are a part of a much bigger problem that the innocent people of Mexico face and it's unreal. Mexico is not a war-torn country in the traditional sense, nor is it headed by religious extremists like places in the Middle East who want to start a war; however, a war has been raging there for some time. Sean Mackiewicz (writer) and Niko Walters (artist) use this landscape as a jumping-off point for a horror story that in their words, “ . . . is an attempt to process real-world horror, centuries of it, magnify it through genre, and learn from it.” They also say, “Gasolina is a story about Mexico. It’s about how countries impact each other. The war that’s about to erupt in these pages is a global one.” Those are some ambitious comments…and I like ambition in storytelling.
Simon Spurrier wrote one of my favorite comics this previous year: The Spire, a fantasy allegory about inequality among race and privilege. His new story, Angelic, immediately had me laughing a heavy “WTF.” In what appears to be a post-human world, oceans have overflown into cities, jungle canopies hang from skyscrapers, and primates have formed a civilization based on a religious belief system that we as readers can see is completely absurd.