Issue #11 of Conan the Slayer had me cackling with glee from beginning to end. I love a well-told story. Who doesn’t? I was once asked if that was the only thing I cared about. For anyone who sees my Facebook feed, you’ll know I care about a lot of other things, but a well-told story is right at the top. It’s what keeps humanity moving forward. Myths, characters that inspire you, even science is driven by storytelling. (Star Trek, anyone?) Cullen Bunn’s run on Conan the Slayer is an extremely well-told bit of fantasy adventure. I love it. What I love even more? I love it when Conan buckles down and spends an issue kicking ass and enjoying it. And that’s what this issue is: Conan kicking ass and enjoying it.
Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer is riveting not only on a massive storytelling level, but it finds the moments of humanity within the larger story that keep us invested. Issues like this one focus on small, but crucial, moments in the characters’ developments. After several issues of some dark twists and turns, we get a moment of respite and emotional tenderness. We see a character stand up for themselves in a necessary way for the reader to experience and to understand why it’s necessary for them to do that.
Mass Effect comics are really great, and Discovery is no exception. So far, this extended look into Mass Effect: Andromeda has allowed readers to get the one thing players of the games will likely never see: more exploration into this world. With Tiran Kandros investigating the Andromeda Initiative and what he believes to be the shady dealings of its founder, Jien Garson, he's begun to find a common thread: a Quarian scientist named Shio'leth that seems to be the link between what he believes to be the real impetus behind the Inititative and the good its claiming to try to do.
The world of Bankshot has returned, and things are really beginning to get interesting as we begin to uncover the past - and the future - of vigilante and potential terror threat Marcus King. As we've seen before, King had a bit of a rough time while he was in service, as a mission gone awry left him paralyzed and in a bad way, both physically and emotionally. In this issue, we begin to see the impact that event had on his life, and his mission to get revenge on the man that put him in that state, a man known only as “The Dutchman.”
The Fanbase Press crew attended San Diego Comic-Con's Breaking News from Shout! Factory and Scream Factory panel on Friday, July 21st, 2017, which involved the creative minds of the respective production companies making special announcements and unveiling exclusive sneak peeks of upcoming Blu-ray collector’s editions and new movies coming to audiences in the coming months.
A tangential note before we begin: This episode premiered the day George Romero passed away. Romero was a remarkable filmmaker and a kind human being who made movies in Pittsburgh, PA, away from Hollywood. In this episode of GoT, I could not help but think of his influence on our culture when we saw the Night King leading an army of the frozen dead towards the wall – if there had been no Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, then popular culture would be very different. Raise a glass to the man who gave us the modern zombie and so many other fascinating and enjoyable films.
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To start things off, I have to say that God Hates Astronauts was one of my favorite things to ever exist in comic book form - especially in a collection, as the ridiculousness of the book was a better read in that iteration than it was in an issue-by-issue format. So, when Curse Words was announced, it felt like a wonderful continuation of a beloved book. Teaming with famed writer Charles Soule, God Hates Astronauts creator Ryan Browne has brought his trademark wit and silliness to a series that wouldn't work without it.
The first volume of Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger’s Southern Cross left me wanting more despite a shaky start, and if anything, this volume leaves me with a similar feeling. Somewhere near the middle, I wasn’t sure where the story was headed and wasn’t even sure if I cared, but by the end, I found myself wishing I could pick up the third volume and keep reading. Such are the perils of reading a series before it is complete, I suppose!