Issue #11 of Conan the Slayer had me cackling with glee from beginning to end. I love a well-told story. Who doesn’t? I was once asked if that was the only thing I cared about. For anyone who sees my Facebook feed, you’ll know I care about a lot of other things, but a well-told story is right at the top. It’s what keeps humanity moving forward. Myths, characters that inspire you, even science is driven by storytelling. (Star Trek, anyone?) Cullen Bunn’s run on Conan the Slayer is an extremely well-told bit of fantasy adventure. I love it. What I love even more? I love it when Conan buckles down and spends an issue kicking ass and enjoying it. And that’s what this issue is: Conan kicking ass and enjoying it.
Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer is riveting not only on a massive storytelling level, but it finds the moments of humanity within the larger story that keep us invested. Issues like this one focus on small, but crucial, moments in the characters’ developments. After several issues of some dark twists and turns, we get a moment of respite and emotional tenderness. We see a character stand up for themselves in a necessary way for the reader to experience and to understand why it’s necessary for them to do that.
Mass Effect comics are really great, and Discovery is no exception. So far, this extended look into Mass Effect: Andromeda has allowed readers to get the one thing players of the games will likely never see: more exploration into this world. With Tiran Kandros investigating the Andromeda Initiative and what he believes to be the shady dealings of its founder, Jien Garson, he's begun to find a common thread: a Quarian scientist named Shio'leth that seems to be the link between what he believes to be the real impetus behind the Inititative and the good its claiming to try to do.
The world of Bankshot has returned, and things are really beginning to get interesting as we begin to uncover the past - and the future - of vigilante and potential terror threat Marcus King. As we've seen before, King had a bit of a rough time while he was in service, as a mission gone awry left him paralyzed and in a bad way, both physically and emotionally. In this issue, we begin to see the impact that event had on his life, and his mission to get revenge on the man that put him in that state, a man known only as “The Dutchman.”
To start things off, I have to say that God Hates Astronauts was one of my favorite things to ever exist in comic book form - especially in a collection, as the ridiculousness of the book was a better read in that iteration than it was in an issue-by-issue format. So, when Curse Words was announced, it felt like a wonderful continuation of a beloved book. Teaming with famed writer Charles Soule, God Hates Astronauts creator Ryan Browne has brought his trademark wit and silliness to a series that wouldn't work without it.
The first volume of Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger’s Southern Cross left me wanting more despite a shaky start, and if anything, this volume leaves me with a similar feeling. Somewhere near the middle, I wasn’t sure where the story was headed and wasn’t even sure if I cared, but by the end, I found myself wishing I could pick up the third volume and keep reading. Such are the perils of reading a series before it is complete, I suppose!
Who would want to travel back in time? Okay, there’s probably a decent percentage of people who would say yes. Now, would you want to travel back in time to a winery, because when you traveled back, an exciting party would be happening onsite? There are even more people that would find that scenario intriguing. All right, now for the question that will cover almost everyone else alive – would you want to travel back in time, in a magical winery, where the only way to travel back would be to drink wine?
Clue writer Paul Allor and artist Nelson Daniel continue the momentum they started in the first issue. The primary focus of this issue is the investigation itself. The characters have already gone through and met one another for the most part. The design of this issue is to begin the investigation, as well as to further the relationships that have begun among the characters. In this way, Allor tosses his audience back into the thick of it as he adds some paranoia to the characters, leading them to act differently from how they normally would. It's thoroughly entertaining to watch all of the characters go about their actions and decisions.
Two of the main characters stare up at a night sky filled with a brightly lit full moon and millions of stars. The cover page for Generation Gone #1 displays this wondrous image along with introductory dialogue from Elena and Nick, which immediately indicates something is amiss within their relationship.