Cullen Bunn knows how to tell a story in a way that twists and turns, that leaves you never knowing exactly what will happen next. I left the last issue thinking “Here’s a new villain” and by the end of this issue, I have no idea who is good and bad. Not only in the course of Issue #14 has he created a handful of complex characters, but he has expanded the scope of the world of Harrow County by leaps and bounds. I feel like after turning every corner, nothing will ever be the same. In this way Cullen Bunn has created something on par with Mind MGMT, Saga, Preacher, Harry Potter, Avatar the Last Airbender, and the original Star Wars trilogy. He’s taken the foundation of mythmaking and presented it to us in a fable-esque horror story packaging that is original and terrifying.

After losing his students and mentor to the Devil Marauders in The Hawk of New York #3, Eric descends into a darkness that can only be appeased by vengeance on those responsible for his pain. Doc, the homeless man who saved him from death, tries to show him the error of his choices by appealing to Eric’s Native American side, but the point has been reached where nothing can pull the young man back from violence and destruction. He’s not the only one closing in on the Devil Marauders though, so he may have to move fast to get the revenge he craves.

I discovered the valley of the shifting, whispering sands.

My first experience with Brandon Sanderson was with his completion of the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time epic, and while the style was certainly a shift, the increased pace of the narrative only heightened my enjoyment of it tremendously. (I think it’s a pretty common belief that Winter’s Heart was hard to get through.)  Since then, I’ve sought out all of his works, and the Mistborn trilogy and its continuing world may be my favorite fantasy series going right now, so there was no question of picking up this title for a review opportunity.

If this was how the west was won, I’m glad I wasn’t there to see it.

When aliens invade the old west, Captain William Beadle decides to lead the battle and organizes the building of a giant mechanical steam man to destroy them and protect Earth. They are successful but soon learn that they were helped along by the Earth’s germs—fatal to the invaders; however, they soon discover a greater threat is upon them. Known as “The Dark Rider,” he has unleashed Hell on Earth in the form of cannibalistic beasties with a very familiar name. Captain Beadle’s mission changes and becomes personal when “The Dark Rider” brutally murders his wife. Joined by Mike Hamner (his first officer), Alfred Blake (the engineer), and John Feather (the navigator), they travel a road that takes no prisoners.

When it comes to the infectious xenomorphs and the trophy-gathering yautja, Judge Dredd of Mega-City One has faced both alien species before in separate encounters, but in Dark Horse Comics’ upcoming Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens miniseries by Eisner Award–winning writer John Layman (Chew) and artist Chris Mooneyham (Predator: Fire and Stone), Dredd must fight a two-front war against two of the most deadliest species in the galaxy! If the first issue is a sign of things to come, readers are in for a blood-soaked, acid-drenched, bone-crunching, balls-to-the-wall brawl between the nastiest bad asses around!

Bounty is the story of sisters Nina and Georgie who, years ago, were the most wanted criminals in the galaxy. Now, they find themselves on the other side of the law, scraping by as bounty hunters. It’s no secret that Bounty writer Kurtis Wiebe is a giant nerd and an RPG aficionado. As his series, Rat Queens, is a love letter to Dungeons & Dragons and other fantasy RPGs, Bounty feels the same for many a science fiction tabletop RPG, like Shadowrun and Wiebe’s own system, Gadfly, as well as '90s Anime including Outlaw Star and Cowboy Bebop.

It’s only been back for a few issues, but Sons of the Devil has returned once again, and the Brian Buccellatto/Toni Infante series brings another wrinkle into the life of our protagonist, Travis. In the last several issues, we’ve learned a lot about Travis, including his life growing up without a family. Of course, this all changed pretty recently, when Travis found out that he not only has a pretty large biological family, but one based in mystery, since his father is a well-known cult leader.

Nothing’s gonna harm you, not while I’m around…

A little while back, I got hold of Benjamin Mikkelsen’s first issue of Stuffed in the IndyStash subscription box.  It was my pick of the box, and I’m now following his sites and eagerly anticipating any new entry into the series.  I just got my copy of Issue #2, and my level of excitement has grown exponentially.  The first issue introduced us to young Sam who is plagued by terrors of the mind that may or may not be part of the real world, as well.  In the final page, we see him gain a protector: his stuffed bear.  Now, the bear is cute, fuzzy, and a bit worn in his natural state, but when he steps into the fray, he stands taller than a man and is a hardened warrior, a gentle, yet strong, spirit protecting his charge.

The one thing I like to see more than the Doctor doing the right thing is his companion, in the face of what feels like insurmountable odds, deciding to do the good thing. Calvin Scott gives Rose Tyler her moments of heroism in Issue #3 of The Ongoing Adventures of the Ninth Doctor. Their bravery always makes the Doctor better, and we also get a chance to see that here.

Gone is the complexity of the last two seasons of Doctor Who: the intense moral ambiguity and the grappling with one’s mortality and memory. If you’re looking for that, you won’t find it here. Moffatt is probably saving all of that for his final series. If you’re okay with some frivolous fun, putting our grumpy Twelfth Doctor in the midst of circumstances that are reminiscent of earlier Doctor adventures (pre-Eccleston), then you’re in the right place. I do not mind this.

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