Comics (1631)

Nothing beats learning on the job.  That’s something I firmly believe in; however, when it comes to becoming one of the chosen to protect the planet from demonic forces, a bit of textbook schooling wouldn’t hurt.

Last year, North Air Entertainment made its comic book publishing debut with the series, Shake the Lake.  Diving deep into the sport of wakeboarding, the series focused on a series of college-aged friends who ate, slept, and partied with one thing on their minds:  wakeboarding.  As part of the three-issues series, writers Zach Block and Machi Block have returned for the second issue, continuing the devil-may-care ways of the crew as they go head to head against rival crews and plan for the wakeboarding event of the summer.

The sixth issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 11 hits comic stands this week and sees the creative team of writer Christos Gage and artist Rebekah Isaacs reunited once again. (Numfar, do the dance of joy!) While great stuff is in store for readers from the dynamic duo behind the scenes, things only grow darker and darker for Buffy and her friends as they are finally able to uncover clues as to what horrifying remedy the United Stated government has come up with for the nation’s problematic supernatural population.

One of the fun things about Star Trek fiction is that, over time, it has brushed up against other fictional universes – sometimes very overtly, as in the Star Trek/Green Lantern or Star Trek/Planet of the Apes comics of recent years, and going at least as far back as some peculiar crossovers with the X-Men in the 1990s. Sometimes, though, these cross-dimensional encounters have to be more referential than that, for one reason or other, and that is where New Visions #15 exists. At least, I think so.

Where, oh where, has our precious time gone?  Oh where, oh where can it be?

This series creatively meshes a variety of pre-existing characters in a freshly re-imagined Victorian London universe. Kim Newman’s brilliant script is a true tribute to literature and an artistic creation beyond Bram Stoker’s classic novel. She uses anarchists, criminals, and artists from novels, short stories, films, and even operas as characters coexisting in her version of Victorian London. As I read, I found myself searching the characters’ names and reading up on their original roles in other works. The interactions between these characters make the tale unique and creative. I appreciate that the characters are not popular, because it allowed me to enjoy learning about lesser-known figures and their stories. (I may need to go and read The Princess Casamassima after reading this series!) When a work can inspire and encourage a reader to research and explore other works, I find that to be impressive.

Mia, a scientist who has been to space looking for new life with her father, is now deep under the ocean trying to figure out who killed him. The problem is that there are more than a handful of possible suspects, all trying their best to help Mia survive on the underwater station as it literally falls apart around them, but which is trying to stop her from solving the murder.

Sometimes, it takes a fresh perspective to start knocking on new doors, and other times, it helps to step away from a problem for awhile and come back to it. Our vanished superhero team, stuck in the small town of Rockwood, hasn’t done much of the latter. They’ve been living and thinking in the mire of their situation for some time now. For each, it has had a different effect. Now, the daughter of the character who owes the book its title, Black Hammer, has found her way to Rockwood in search of him. She not only represents that fresh perspective, but a journalistic one, as well. She begins digging, and with answers come more questions, some seemingly small, and some very big.

Briggs Land is a raging thunderstorm, and the characters contained inside, particularly main character Grace Briggs, are lightning bolts – and you never know when a powerful strike will take place.

For the last year or two, Dark Horse has been publishing a comic called The Rook which is, in my opinion, everything a good time travel story should be; however, as it turns out, like several of my favorite Dark Horse titles, this one is actually a reboot of a classic comic from back in the day. Furthermore, as they often do, they’ve now begun reprinting the original comics to coincide with the reboot.

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