Jeff Lemire continues the sort-of origin story of the Laughing Man in Gideon Falls #13, and two things are happening for me. One: More questions are cascading to the surface with very few answers. Two: It doesn’t matter. It’s the questions, the mystery, the unknown that drives the horror of this series - the sense that there’s something greater than our minds can even begin to fathom happening in the world of Gideon Falls. You can feel that frustration in our main characters who press ahead, fighting even though they have no idea what they’re up against. This series is a constant existential crisis ready to explode. It's quantum mechanics being used as a weapon.
Our hero, Joe Golem, was left in a pretty tight spot when we left him at the end of the previous story arc, possibly dead at the bottom of the Drowning City (a parallel New York City half covered in water). In this new series, we pick up from exactly that moment, as we see more of his past life as a literal animated Golem whose sole goal was to destroy witches.
Comic books are not movies, but that doesn’t mean they are not cinematic. The creative team behind Last Stop on the Red Line understands this, and, as a result, they immediately take their audience on a cinematic joyride pulsing with electric energy. Take for example this page…
Not all art is about entertainment. Sometimes, art exists to challenge, teach, or heal us. A better way to describe art is to say that all art exists to help us. How it helps us changes from piece to piece. I had the opportunity this week to read Ingrid Chabbert’s Waves, the topics of which are of a grim seriousness that I don't want to obfuscate or shy away from. I'll start this review by saying that if you're searching for a lighthearted comic book, you might want to pass on this one. If you’re looking for something that will move you and, quite possibly, help you in your own life, then you need to learn more about Waves.
Nina Rodriguez always knew that magic was real, she just couldn't prove it. But when her sister Marissa is kidnapped by the Great Beast, Nina charges head first into the mystical world of spells and paragons hidden in the streets of Los Angeles. Blackbird Vol. 1 collects the first six issues of Sam Humphries and Jen Bartel's visually spectacular urban fantasy.
Class hierarchy, social status, racial discrimination, and sexual discrimination are all themes being handled deftly in Greg Pak and Giannis Milonogiannis’ Ronin Island.
Empty Man #7 goes above and beyond, shifting from survival horror to something more along the lines of existential and philosophical dread. Not only does Cullen Bunn take what is probably a simple concept and make it mind-bogglingly esoteric in the best way, but what has been to this point a hellish landscape of chaotic, uncontrollable horror chasing down our heroes has become something that you maybe can’t just outrun.
Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s meta tale of superheroes without a story has sprawled every which way since its first issue about two years ago. I say “without a story” not because things haven’t happened - so much has happened - but because for much of the series our heroes have been without anything to save. Their story was stripped away from them, and they’ve been forced to live out different stories. What happens when you take away a superhero’s main reason for existing?
Reading She Could Fly is like slipping into someone else’s madness, and it fits far too comfortably.
Welcome to a world where the past, present, and future all echo each other, the paranormal is the only way to understand the normal, and everything happens for a reason. Elizabeth Crowens’ page turner creates wonder and intrigue into the mystical possibilities of everyday life and the ways that decisions shape the future.