Wynd #5 brought tears to my eyes. Good tears, hopeful tears. Wynd is a character that has grown up believing he has been cursed with magic, having nightmares that portend his changing into a monster that everyone will fear. He has been taught this, because people have been taught to hate and fear magical creatures. The king has magical creatures killed on sight, and his hunter, the Bandaged Man, is the best there is at killing them. He can sniff out magic, and he is relentless.
Now, Wynd has been whisked away on an adventure, joining the king’s son, the son of the royal gardner who Wynd has a crush on, and his best friend, leaving the relative safety of Pipetown with the Bandaged Man hot on their heels.
Quick recap time: Team Angel has lost Fred to Baphomet and Wolfram and Hart, and now possibly Gunn, too. While investigating a rash of brutal murders, they encountered their latest ally/enemy, a teenage werewolf named Oz. Meanwhile, Fred’s meatsuit is now under the control of Baphomet, but she’s not fully given up control just yet…
When I finished Jeff Lemire’s Black Hammer what seems like forever ago (but not so long ago), I was left with something nagging at me. The story was brought to a conclusion, a sort of melancholy middle ground, but it didn’t feel complete. Over the last year, Lemire has continued tapdancing around the Black Hammer universe, bringing new characters into the fray, dealing with the same characters in the near past or distant future. It has been a remarkable world building experience, especially with all the amazing talent he’s brought on to help create this world. To what end, has been the question. Where is all of this leading? Why spend all of this time on these stories - just for a laugh, to cash in? Obviously not, Lemire isn’t a cynical creator. He’s a genuine writing talent. So, then, to what end?
In 1988, comic book fans were given an unprecedented choice. DC Comics released a four-part comic book series revolving around Batman and then-Robin Jason Todd titled A Death in the Family. At the end of issue #427, readers found Jason Todd bloodied, beaten up, and left for dead by the Joker. They then had a choice to make: let Jason live or kill him. Two 1-900 numbers were in the back of the comic for readers to call in and cast their vote.
I was a little concerned that I wasn’t the target audience for Geek-Girl #7 when I opened my review link to see an overly busty Summer as Geek-Girl plastered across the front cover. She looked flirty and confident, but her bust looked larger than normal, and it was clearly so male gaze-oriented that I felt taken aback (I’d also just seen a Facebook ad for a bra that could increase your breast size appearance by two cup sizes, so my brain was a little baffled.); however, the issue developed into a female bonding night out between BFFs Ruby and Summer and newcomer Kerry as they enjoy time as twenty-somethings in a college town.
For a series that has built to a crescendo on a couple of occasions, only to find out that this is the penultimate issue kind of caught me off guard. In the next issue, Gideon Falls concludes, and I’m two years and some change older. It has often felt like we’ve been nearing a conclusion on a number of occasions, only for the script to flip on the characters. Now with several new characters and storylines only recently introduced, in the blink of an eye, it will be concluded. If it sounds like I have mixed feelings about that… well, I do.
Building blocks, gently being placed one on top of the other. Every block brings a shift in dynamic, and every block below it gives it stability. Where will the next block be placed? Will it all come tumbling down? James Tynion IV’s Something Is Killing the Children is a masterclass in how to patiently construct a meaningful and powerful story. Every added story element surprises and brings about a greater dilemma but also makes complete sense. Plot holes? Tynion declares, “Never!” Unmotivated character decisions? Tynion scoffs, “Not on your life!”
In a combination of alternate-history, secret society with a little steampunk thrown in, The Clockwork Dynasty tells the dual story of June Stefanov (an anthropologist who specializes in ancient technology) and the mechanical being Peter. After having found a unique automaton doll, June is unwittingly dragged into a centuries-long conflict between two warring factions of a world she never knew existed: a group of automatons who have been living among us for what might be over a thousand years. Rescued by Peter after she finds out that the automatons exist, June learns they are dying, and she and Peter must rediscover their primary power source in order to preserve their future. But the real question is: who made them and why?