I would like to begin my review of “The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos” by pointing out how I correctly predicted that the Stenza would be the big bad for Series 11 in my review of the second episode. (Ed. Note: Our staff at Fanbase Press are the most humble of folks.)
I read issue one of The Empty Man, but a concussion kept me from writing the review at the time, so here we are at issue two as Cullen Bunn taps into what makes online urban myths like The Tall Man spooky as hell to me. The Empty Man is a virus, or maybe a person, or maybe both that gets into the heads of its victims, making them do erratic and violent things. It can affect anyone at any time. It makes you see things, think things, believe things. It alters your reality. The idea is unnerving. The execution makes it more so.
Ho, ho, Hellboy, the magical man in red is coming to your comic store this holiday (this Wednesday to be specific), and he brings with him some most welcome friends. Considering that Christmas was originally a pagan holiday, a Hellboy Winter Special seems far more fitting than our usual festivities. I wonder if the Winter Solstice festivals around the world would ever consider incorporating this wonderful creation and bizarre world of talking animals and snotty spirits into their celebrations. If this new movie is a hit (Fingers crossed!), Hulu or Amazon should do a Hellboy Winter Special… but I digress…
When I started playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in December of 2017, I was immediately entranced by the beautiful, open-world design of the game, the immersive storyline, and the intricate character design. For me, the game mechanics were (and remain) secondary to the more narrative elements of the text. I was thrilled to receive a review copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Creating a Champion, because it allowed me to further indulge in the rich fantasy space of the Zelda universe.
I know this is issue #1 of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D 1956, but, really, it’s an ongoing series that’s well into its run. Be that as it may, this issue is sort of ground zero for a new story arc, and I thought I’d see how easy it would be for me to jump on board. While there are some story beats between characters that are lost on me, the general sense of the events are pretty understandable.
This week marks the release of the second issue of Dark Horse Comics’ Alien 3: The Unproduced Screenplay, a comic book adaptation of William Gibson’s unused stab at the third film in the Alien franchise. Featuring a script and artwork from Johnnie Christmas and colors from Tamra Bonvillain, the second issue of this unusual adaptation lights a fuse to the powder keg that really can only eventually reach its inevitable and disastrous end. And, if the Alien franchise has taught fans anything, it’s the fact that disaster always multiplies when xenomorphs are in the mix.
Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy all of the spooks and scares of Blackwood. Investigate the strange, unusual happenings of the occult through the lens of some troubled college kids on a campus of nightmares.
Things are getting dangerous in Joe Golem: Occult Detective - The Drowning City #4. What’s happened thus far is a pretty tangled web of intrigue and occult-style mystery. Over the last three story arcs, some pretty intricate layers have been built. The foundation is that of Joe and his boss/father figure Mr. Church. Mr. Church is a complex individual, alive well beyond his years, fighting against dark forces. He’s old enough now that he has to use Joe to do the foot work. Basically, Joe is the muscle. Mr. Church also helps Joe to forget. The fact is, Joe is older than Mr. Church, and as his name implies, he’s not necessarily human. Anytime Joe becomes confused with dreams of a distant past featuring a golem that killed witches, Mr. Church gives him tea that muddies his brain and causes him to forget.
I can only begin to process what’s happening in the Black Hammer universe, but what started out as a fun jaunt into the future with Quantum Age has now become intricately and seamlessly plotted into the main storyline as past, present, and future all collide, and it is an absolute joy to be a part of it from month to month. If the entirety of this world were Jeff Lemire’s final work of fiction, I couldn’t imagine any other way to go out. This is like the Catcher in the Rye of comic books. It puts Lemire at the top with some of the greatest comic book creators of all time.
There is no role small enough in the Black Hammer universe that doesn’t deserve to be dug into. Afterall, Black Hammer is all about stories, and everyone, no matter how seemingly inconsequential or powerful, has a story. What felt like a throwaway punchline character, Cthu-Lou, fit snugly into the Golden Age-era tropes of the 1950s superhero genre that the Black Hammer universe plays in. Now, that trope has been turned on its head, and we are introduced to Cthu-Lou’s teenage daughter, Cthu-Louise.