There is a first time for everything, and this is my first time reviewing a coloring book. Not just any coloring book, but possibly the most legitimate and cool coloring book I have ever seen. Two words: dinosaurs and learning. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex (according to their website), so who better to make educational coloring books?
Unlike Barbalien #1 which is the other Black Hammer universe comic just released, Colonel Weird: Cosmagog may play better to people that have followed the main storyline. There are universal elements to the story, such as feeling lost and alone, but those elements aren’t the driving force behind the story of Colonel Weird. As we jump through his past as a bullied child, then as a space explorer in a sort of super fun, 1950s sci-fi way, and then as the scraggly bearded man who is losing his mind to all time and space, his main goal is to remember something he’s forgotten. My guess is that that something will connect back with the main storyline, as a big piece of this puzzle seems to be when Anti-God attacked the Earth, and before our heroes were sent to an old farm to live our their lives.
This newest issue of Nailbiter Returns is an enjoyable half step forward for the story. There are a couple of plot points sprinkled in and a couple minor cliffhangers, but the bulk of what’s happening in this issue could have taken place in a few pages, and ultimately that’s more than enough to keep me reading. There’s one plot point in this issue that I’m just going to have to accept as part of this reality; maybe it will be explained, maybe it won’t.
While the mention of former Jedi Ahoska Tano will certainly have viewers on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next sign of this popular character from the Star Wars animated series, this week The Mandalorian takes a minor detour to visit some old friends, deal with some old enemies, and give Apollo Creed the chance to play in the Star Wars sandbox.
Penny’s finally tied the knot with Raven, her dragon suitor, and returned to Lloegyr, but life can’t ever stay calm for the world-hopping vicar. Sue Harkness continues to lean into her anger against the alternate world, and anyone tied to Penny may be at risk. To make matters worse, fellow clergy may be helping with Harkness’ plans to make Daer’s denizens pay for her maternal neglect, and the Rat Kings definitely are willing to broker deals with England at the expense of other species. Penny needs to come up with a solution for the refugees stuck in both worlds, but when one world is secret from the other, it’s a tall order. Is humanity ready for the truth about mythical creatures? Penny may have to take the gamble of her life and hope that faith is enough to save everyone.
Quick recap: Things got decidedly messy in the last arc. Sometimes, mucking through the mess is how you get to a clean start, or at least a cleaner slate to begin. Having dispatched not just Beowulf but also Grendel and his mother, the McGuires seem to be in a better place now. Meanwhile, Mary/Elaine/Nimue is out there playing Merlin’s game. Oh… and Duncan and Rose are maybe an item?
Quick recap: With the bloom of Abhainn behind her, Willow is now forced to confront the less-than-savory stuff that’s going on in Abhainn. Too bad, it seems like her crush may be in the center of the whole mess.
Quick recap: Blue Sun has its new generation of law enforcers that look and kind of sound like Mal. It’s probably worth pointing out that a private army to protect corporate interests seems like an awful idea. While these robots may look like Mal and sound like him, they’re clearly not acting like him at all.
We’ve reached a point in this chess game where every move is devastating, and Tynion IV and Dell’edera are not holding back. This is what it means for a character to have their back pinned against a wall. Erica Slaugher showed up in this small, “nothing ever happens here but bigotry” towns to save all of the children from monsters. She is a monster hunter that seems a bit out of her mind. I supposed I would be, too, if I hunted monsters. She has been joined by some of the people of the town who are willing to listen, to help as they may, which does not bode well for the House of Slaughter, or as we now know they are called The Order of St. George. Monster hunters that are more concerned about people knowing there are monsters and will do anything to stop the news from spreading.
Black Hammer’s epic, multi-year storyline started with an incredibly strong premise: What if Golden-Age superheroes were trapped on a Twilight Zone-like farm where they couldn’t leave? Then, it became about this family unit; the intoxicating characters were the most important aspect of the narrative, as the storyline sort of diminished and became secondary. Then, it became about stories. What do stories mean, why do they matter, where do they come from? And in its immensity, while the main series had a conclusion in that they overcame an adversary, it never quite felt final, because they didn’t all overcome their own problems, and thematic elements were just too big to tangle with.