Jeff Lemire (script) and David Rubín (art and letters) must be having an absolute blast on Black Hammer. By exploring what they love most about Golden Age comics and the modern deconstruction of comic archetypes at the same time, they have made it a riveting book for this reader. Lesson: Write what you love. In this issue we get some more sci-fi romping about with Captain Weird and Talky-Walky.
Tie-in comics are generally kind of hit or miss, and that especially goes when they're tied to video games, a medium that generally allows for so much more expansive lore than any other medium can give. That goes even more so for games like the Mass Effect franchise, which is a huge, expansive universe that the games only scratch the surface of, in most single titles. As the video game series has gone on, we've learned a great deal, and that is usually gained through huge, eighty-hour playthroughs that take us on massive and beautiful journeys.
Ziyi’s brilliant plan to spirit herself and Oh out of the underworld brings the pair back to earth at a funerary offerings stall in a busy marketplace, startling everyone present! Fortunately, the man recognizes the renowned exorcist and sets the pair on a path to a nearby valley where evil lurks. Maybe the answer to Oh’s crazy trek to the land of the dead can be found in a creepy, mostly abandoned locale?
As another arc of The Wicked + The Divine passes, we are once again gifted a look into the past with another one-shot. This time, we turn to Rome, as the creative team takes a new view into the history of the once and now great civilization, this time focusing more on one of our less-attended-to Gods, Lucifer. While their passing in the main story was something both fans and the characters themselves still feel, getting a chance to give Lucifer the spotlight is a great way to still showcase the skills of the mischievous deity.
I’m so used to comic book series going on for at least a couple of years, so it took me by surprise that this issue was the conclusion of Dead Inside. John Arcudi has forced his main character, Detective Caruso, into a situation in which it has to conclude or there will be consequences, and Caruso has positioned herself as the only one who can get it done. Or I should say, Arcudi has put her into this position by making most all of the other officers hot-headed idiots. How Caruso gets out of her predicament - while she promises she’s the only one that can do it with her intelligence - isn’t particularly that creative or even well thought out. It’s level-headed simplicity that wins in the end, which one can argue is missing from law enforcement these days.
The compelling story of Star Wars in 1977 left fans wanting more. Unlike now, where we can own a copy of a much-loved film and watch any time we want, back in the late 1970s, Beta and VHS formats were still a few years from being an available commodity. There were a handful of novels that were released at the time, and Marvel was putting out a monthly comic book series, but the fans’ interest was not sated. They were clamoring for more content. Given that the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back, would not be released until May 1980, the Los Angeles Times Syndicate began running a daily Star Wars comic strip on March 11, 1979. Finally, fans could get a daily installment, albeit in very small doses, for the next five years.
The action in this issue moves across various settings as Shadow and Wednesday continue their journey. With their adventures so far, this tale is playing out to be a perfectly dark mythological epic set in modern-day America. Shadow’s dream sequence adds to that feel, as the statues resemble mythological beasts. They are drawn to perfection to catapult us into a strange world that keeps intruding on the real world. Despite his name, Shadow is the light of these dark dreams. He is the heroic figure wrapped up in a complicated mess. Has he embarked on a hero’s journey? It is hard to tell without yet knowing what his quest is for. The mysterious purpose of his travels creates Gothic uncertainty and apprehension that is utterly engaging.
Twenty-five years ago, Image Comics vaulted into the comic book world with titles such as WildC.A.T.S. and Spawn, and now, one of its debut series has come back. Youngblood, originally created by Rob Liefeld, is now reintroduced into the modern world, including all of its technological novelties. Writer Chad Bowers directs Youngblood #1 and all of its characters with as much ease as downloading a phone app or sending a text message.
Despair and the ever-lingering desire of hope surround Eternal Empire #1 from Image Comics. The creative team of Alex + Ada returns again with a new series, generating a sense of pain felt by the characters as they deal with war, famine, and the lack of control one finds when they aren’t serving “their” Empress freely.