“And they lived happily ever after” isn’t necessarily a cliché, but a common theme in stories. It can be a satisfying conclusion if executed well, but it can also come across as something rushed.

For years, Samurai Jack comic book adaptations have always captured the intersection of nostalgia and new adventure. From the time that the animated series left the air, the comics have acted not as supplemental material, but as a means of logging Jack’s adventures in a strange, new land. Now, with the collection of Samurai Jack: Lost Worlds, readers have the chance to read about Jack’s other adventures.

Quick recap: Duncan’s family is a mess, y’all! Unbeknownst to him, his grandma raised him to be a perfect knight, in the off chance that she needed someone to retrieve the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, his grandfather is apparently the Fisher King, but only because Bridgette shot him in the nads after a disagreement about the trajectory of the family? The McGuires sure know how to woo partners…

A quick recap from the last issue: Ma Reynolds has taken over things on the Browncoat front, much to Mal’s chagrin. The crew is all finally reunited, just in time for the Second Unification War to really heat up. Love, war, weapons of mass destruction, disapproving mothers: Life is complicated for a space pirate with morals.

Hex Vet: The Flying Surgery is the second in the Hex Vet series of graphic novels released by writer/artist Sam Davies through BOOM! Studios. This time last Christmas, I reviewed Hex Vet: Witches in Training, a sturdy, little story that I happened to enjoy quite a bit. I picked up The Flying Surgery hoping that the nitpicks I had with the first story had been ironed out, and I’m happy to say they have!

In a return to the science fiction action epic series from Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri, Brandon Thomas uses the fear and anxiety that modern America tackles in our current political climate to further his new adventure. In Hardcore: Reloaded, we follow Agent Drake who begins to lose faith in the program he once believed in.

In a clash of two different cultures, Sonata serves as a newfound space saga. Here, we observe one group that is war mongering and another that strives for peace. From the get-go, writer David Hine excels in establishing this world; it’s grim and dark, going out of its way to display fabled creatures that act as their own deities. In weaving his tale, Hine and co-writer Brian Haberlin create a slow burn to be savored by the reader for the entirety of the series.

The beautiful visual aesthetics of the cyberpunk adventure game, Read Only Memories, have come to the comic book page in this comic book adaptation. In the Christmas of 2064 in Neo-San Francisco, CA, Parallax has created a product called ROMs (Relationship and Organizational Managers), a set of personal assistant robots made to replace phones and computers. The role of the player is to be a journalist searching for their lost friend and Parallax engineer Hayden Webber. During this adventure, they’re aided by Turing, who is created by Hayden and the first of sapient machines, robots that are capable of emotions and can grow.

There are a myriad of crime dramas that have tackled the war on drugs in some aspect. Shows like The Wire, Breaking Bad, Snowfall, Weeds, Powers, Scarface, and Sons of Anarchy have all touched on this modern epidemic. The fascination of the series, Narcos, was witnessing the biographical journey of cartel boss Pablo Escobar. Influenced by this premise, the four-issue miniseries broadens the conspiracy and harm that the international drug trade caused within the 1990s. For those interested in its history or for fans of the TV series, this new comic is an eclectic admiration.

Harrow County was one of the first regular series I followed as a reviewer for Fanbase Press. It was wonderful - a dark, mysterious, character-driven Southern Gothic story. Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook created not just a world for their characters to inhabit, but a mythology that stood up next to the likes of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy or Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. It was rich, full of dramatic textures and haunting storylines.

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