Wow - that is a whopper of a second issue! I was expecting something decent, but I wasn’t prepared for something that good.
David Leach is at it again! Who is David Leach, you ask? Why, just look at this review (by Yours Truly) to learn a little bit about him. Anywho, though it might have taken him over two years to publish the next edition of Psycho Gran, this edition (volume 2!) does not disappoint. For those of you who are really ready to watch some vigilantes kick the ever-loving crap out of some jerk on the street who has it coming, this comic is for you.
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.
The opening lines of Dante’s Inferno (which if you have not read, shame on you - go read it and then come back)1, which, roughly translates, “As I had wandered halfway through our life’s way, I found myself in a shadowed wood, for I had lost the straightforward path,” begins an epic journey that takes thirty-three cantos to work its way through nine levels of hell and a whole bunch of sublevels through the craziest landscape you will ever encounter. Hell is full of the famous, the infamous, and the common. Dante keeps fainting, but he keeps going because the woman he loves, Beatrice, sent the poet Virgil to guide him through. Gotta keep going, Virgil reminds him. But Dante, when he is not fainting, is also constantly stopping to chat with the residents of hell.
Super Terre.r is an out-of-this-world adventure that’s perfectly described by its cover page. Artist Bob Eggleton creates an extraterrestrial vision with several explorers standing in the midst of an alien planet; it’s made apparent by multiple moons or planets in the sea blue sky. The cover also highlights the abundance of foliage, as green moss covers every inch of tall towers, which are yet to be determined if they’re man-made or not.
Once again, a new arc of The Wicked + The Divine has begun, and with it comes one of the more interesting additions to the lore of the gods and their brief, but exciting, lifespans.
Once you know your enemy, you’ll not fear them. Yeah, sounds good.
Schismatic is based on a solid and horrifying premise, where parents fighting against a Lovecraftian cult are separated from their children and spend 10 years imprisoned in mines before managing an escape. Having sneaked into the heart of their enemies’ stronghold (after making some intriguing allies), they come face to face with their worst nightmare: their children. Having spent the whole of the narrative with the adults, this issue flips the script and fills us in on what the kids have been going through (now that we have confirmed that they are alive) for the last decade. It’s not a story of hope, but my goodness is it one that’s thoroughly engaging.
Tomas Ramirez has no aspirations or dreams -- he’s perfectly content to chill at his gas station job and talk to random lizards. But he finds that the latter has become a lot more literal as some of his fellow townspeople are actually shape-shifting reptilian aliens that want to exterminate humanity. Soon, he finds himself fighting in a secret worldwide war for humanity’s survival with an underground resistance force. He’s way over his head, so he does the most logical thing -- get high.
Fans of Lovecraft literature can be divided into two major factions. The first category are the Lovecraft purists, those folks who hold the works penned by H.P. Lovecraft himself as the only canon worthwhile to read and posit that successor works simply fail to capture the cosmic nihilism of the original texts. The other camp is composed of the Cthulhu Mythos fans, the readers hooked into Lovecraft via its most prominent and popular icon. This camp prefers stories that contain the most recognizable elements, such as the presence of Cthulhu, mentions of Miskatonic University, and throwbacks to the town of Innsmouth. This is a Lovecraft universe shaped by August Derleth beginning in the late 1930s and has been refined and expanded on by other authors since.
I have a deeply personal connection to Wendy and Richard Pini’s ElfQuest series. Decades have passed since I was a young kid that discovered a collection at the library. Their version of elves was a breath of fresh air next to series like Dragonlance and Lord of the Rings. These elves are marginalized, forced to be nomadic, and more tribal rather than being an aloof and magical race. On top of the (at the time) unusual take on elves, the art was so impactful that I still have entire panels etched into my mind, even after all this time. The enduring nature of the series is understandable, and each new collection is a reminder of just how luminary the series really is.