Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, several lines of conflict came to a head. Buffy’s personal attachments seemed to be at odds with Faith’s assessment of the Xander situation. Meanwhile, Anya’s plan may have a slight hitch in it with Morgan beginning to doubt her motivations; however, something really dark has overtaken Willow…

From the first moment a creature opens its eyes to the last time it shuts them, what it has is identity.  We are each the main character of our own story, whether hero or villain.  What we have is a definition, whether opposing what we detest or nurturing that which we love, our consciousness is the prism through which we perceive the world and all the majesty in it.  What happens then when we lose that identity?  When we’re no longer captain of the football team, or the aunt who has all the answers, what is it that defines us when we lose the foundation that we built ourselves on?  Are we the facets of the stone or simply the reflections on them?  What happens then, when we turn our stone?

Due to the Disney purchase of 20th Century Fox, the Alien franchise torch has passed from publisher Dark Horse Comics to Marvel Comics. While Dark Horse must be given due credit for being excellent shepherds of the brand during their time (even having such success during the past three decades or so that the Xenomorph became nearly as much of a staple in the comic book medium as Batman and Spider-Man), all things change with time. We now find ourselves in the Marvel age of the Alien-verse. While the premiere issue of Marvel’s first Alien title is a bit of a slow burn, perhaps emulating the masterful wind up present in director Ridley Scott’s original film, writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson (The Last God, Action Comics) and artist Salvador Larroca (Star Wars: Darth Vader, The Invincible Iron Man) are laying the necessary groundwork for the next evolution of the Alien mythos, and, with over 300,000 copies of the first issue already sold, readers seem eager to sign up for this bug hunt.

I love that there is simply an agreed-upon look for the undead in the Hellboy universe. It doesn’t matter who’s drawing it, you immediately know which world you’re involved with. Mike Mignola’s Hellboy universe is iconic in so many ways, this just being one of them. He’s pulled from so many inspirations and mythologies, from Lovecraftian horrors to Russian folklore, and in Young Hellboy: The Hidden Land, he and co-writer Thomas Sniegoski draw from someplace new and yet classic: that of the Ray Harryhausen era of filmmaking. Perfect for the time and era in which The Hidden Land exists.

Quick recap: Blue Sun is hunting down the Serenity crew (After all these years?!), and Zoë and Captain Kaylee have teamed up. While the old crew seems to have separated over time, the big question remains: Where is Mal?

I bet you’ve heard the name of Jack the Ripper, right? But have you ever heard the names of his victims: Polly, Annie, Elisabeth, Catherine, and Mary Jane? I’m sure most would answer no, myself included, until I read The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. As with many crimes against women, the male perpetrator grabs the headlines while the women are lost to obscurity. Ms. Hallie Rubenhold aims to do something about that in this well-researched book.

Set twenty years since the events of the current Firefly series, “Brand New ‘Verse” is, well, pretty new and different. Zoë is now the captain of the Serenity, though it’s a title that her daughter Emma is jockeying for. Along for the ride are the new ship engineer Lu and muscle Salo. The first issue of this new series does the usual: sets up the new status quo, establishes interpersonal relationships, and, finally, introduces a central conflict. As “pilots” go, it’s a pretty solid first issue.

Quick recap: While running away from Lancelot, Duncan and Bridgette encounter a sleeping dragon. Meanwhile, the real world came head to head with the story, and things seem to be getting kind of messy. Oh, and Galahad is finally back in the mix, and oy… he’s mixed up all right. So much for the Mary/Elaine/Nimue blend-up being weird…

Scott Snyder and Charles Soule have returned with their vision of an alternate America with the release of Undiscovered Country: Volume 2. After a trek through the first zone of the United States, a version of the global powerhouse that has walled itself off from the rest of the world (in the most literal of senses), the first people to visit the country have found themselves somewhere unlike any other. Unlike their harrowing adventure within the wastes of the Destiny Zone, where marauders and killers reigned supreme under the leadership of the psychotic Destiny Man, the expedition team now explores the lands of Unity, a technological haven of artificial intelligence and cooperation for the greater good. As the team continues to walk the Spiral (a trek through all thirteen zones) in search of the cure to a deadly virus that is ravaging the world outside the United States, they hope to find their answers within the walls of Unity City.

Futuristic science fiction tales in comic books are as old as the medium itself, especially those that show a post-apocalyptic world. Less explored in the current age is a population affected by radiation. (These types of stories were far more abundant in the 1960s.) Stories about how different genders are mutated by this radiation are even more unique. This is the premise of Image Comics’ Big Girls.

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