When the term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is mentioned, one might immediately associate the mental disorder as an effect of combat. According to clinical studies, although the term came into use during the diagnosis of returning soldiers from the Vietnam War in the early 1970s, symptoms have been documented since ancient Greek times. It is not just a combat induced disorder, though; a person encountering a life-threatening event, such as sexual assault or accidents, can develop symptoms of PTSD, most often in adults. A National Institute of Health article from 2015 reports that “about 3% of the adult population has PTSD at any one time.” Therapy and medication are cited as treatment methods.
A little over a year ago (Wow, has it really been that long?), I reviewed the first issue in a new Star Trek comic called Star Trek: Waypoint. Released for Trek’s 50th anniversary, it was a collection of new, standalone short stories and adventures from each of the series: TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise. (No Discovery, sorry.) I loved that first issue and had nothing but great things to say about it. So, when the full collection of Waypoint comics came up for review, naturally, I jumped on it.
In general, I find that the adventures in The Rook are better when they feature more of stalwart protagonist Restin Dane and less of his grandfather, Bishop Dane. While this volume starts out with a very heavy dose of Bishop, mercifully, he becomes, for the most part, less important and less prominent as things progress.
Coyotes is a unique tale in how its narrative is designed and unfolds. Sean Lewis certainly has an idea for his Western tale that he spins. With the jarring opening, Lewis uses this to put the reader in the middle of the story. It causes us to ask questions about what exactly is happening and why the new officer on the force ended up in such a situation. And then, we are introduced to our main protagonist who seems to be the one responsible for exactly what was happening. The officer moves into the next situation and seeks to take the girl to be questioned.
Adamant, the world’s most indestructible superhero, has been displaced in time and now finds himself in a dark, dystopian future he can barely understand, full of deadly machines and talking frogs. When we last left our hero, he was having trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that his former arch-nemesis, Dr. Alpha, is now the leader of the underground resistance trying to keep people safe from the evil new regime. And as if that wasn’t enough, it turns out that the person responsible for this evil regime is none other than a future version of Adamant himself.
The third and newest mini-series in a thematic anthology of Cronenberg/Black Mirror-style stories by creators James Tynion IV (writer) and Eryk Donovan (artist) isn’t the story of one character, or even a few. It is the story of a civilization. Eugenic is ambitious, telling individual stories at different points in time as we follow the trajectory of our civilization after genetic tampering, which was originally supposed to save us from a terrible virus. Instead, it changed us, or at least most of us. Those that were changed became hideous, purple creatures without sexual identity, race, or physical symmetry. How could they be hated when there was nothing to tell them apart. Like some deformed Picasso painting, physical beauty no longer matters. I said most changed, as the ones unaffected by the genetic alteration have become, in a way, biological slaves to the superior beings.
I have such up and down feelings for Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins' series, Grass Kings; some issues are wonderful, and other issues are missing a connective tissue that would otherwise pull me into the journey that the characters find themselves on.
Issue #27 of Harrow County was an emotionally harrowing endeavor. Like all the best horror stories, the things we fear the most are beginning to happen, and our hero, Emmy, has been pushed and pulled in so many directions over the course of this series that what she will do next is anyone’s guess. Talk about a cliffhanger!
Spoilers from the prior issues revealed below.
After ending on a dramatic cliffhanger in issue one of Irrational Numbers: Subtraction (Wunderman Comics) in which Zalmoxis kills himself rather than persist as the negotiator of peace between Sofia and Medea, in this issue, the story picks up forty years later and, as promised, it is all-out war. Sadly, Zalmoxis’ death has been in vain, because the ladies have remained committed to pitting their vampyr armies against each other during the intervening decades leading up to the 1989 Romanian Revolution. An unknown enemy, identified as The Reaper, has not let up pursuing and reducing the numbers of vampires, regardless if they are Akousmatikoi or Mathematikoi.