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For those of you that don’t know, two brothers, Ethan and Malachai Nicolle, write and illustrate Axe Cop. Malachai, the writer, is 9. Ethan, the illustrator, is 32. This is the most important part of the comic. What Axe Cop (the comic, not the character) does is hold up a lens to show you the brilliant, limitless, and occasionally psychotic imagination of a child. According to Malachai, the only possible recourse when faced with a bad guy is to chop his head off. That is, unless the bad guy is particularly awesome, then you might want to try to hypnotize him, so he becomes a good guy.

Eric Garcia’s new comic is a near-future sci-fi tale about the dangers of a security state and excessive hyphens. This issue is the origin story for the conflict to come. We are introduced to Golden Shield, the aspiring surveillance company that will help stop crimes as they are occurring. There is a problem with the system, though; the evaluation software isn’t accurate enough for the scale of the project. I won’t spoil anything for you, but the solution to this problem looks like it will be the source of the tension for the foreseeable future.

A playful grin, sharp teeth, and a bloody knife. That can't be good. Surrounded by flames, dead bodies, and a city in ruins, the girl on the front cover is the first introduction to Gateway #2 . . . and she's ready to play.

SPOILERS BELOW (for Issue #1)

The third of a twelve-issue series from Dark Horse Comics, written by J.M. Straczynski, art by Pete Woods, with colors by Matthew Wilson, and lettering by Nate Peikos of Blambot, Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #3 continues the ongoing saga of John Connor in his final battle against Skynet.

We’re currently in a Golden Age of Sherlock Holmes right now, with two pictures from Legendary and well-received modern versions of the detective currently being produced by the BBC and CBS.  It’s not surprising with such a strong, unique character with such a rich history.

Y’all familiar with Suicide Risk?  It’s this new(ish) comic by BOOM! Studios written by Mike Carey with art by Joerge Coelho. It’s this whole thing.  Basically, (catch-up time) there is this cop who nearly gets killed by these super nasty super villains, and he realizes that there is no way he can stop them without dying.  At the same time, he is offered (for a chunk of change) that chance to develop super powers, thereby giving him a bit of an edge in his fight.  Like you, me, and the rest of the world, he takes his shot.

Dammit.  I already support a relatively expensive comic book habit that precludes me from doing meaningful and important things like go on trips, buy gas, and eat things other than ramen. Unfortunately for me, I’ve discovered yet another comic that I simply must have.

Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Lazarus was probably my favorite new series of 2013, and it’s about time I got around to reviewing an issue.  The series, set in a dystopian future where a handful of families control the world in a high-tech feudal society, is a great blend of intrigue, action, and speculative fiction.  Though the sixth issue (part two of the current arc) is one of the slowest of the series so far, it’s still a solid piece in the evolving story of Forever Carlyle, and a glimpse at this still-new fictional world.

I apologize up front if I confuse anyone with the title of this issue, but I refuse to call it X-Men #10: Now Ghosts #1 or whatever, because I just find that a little ridiculous. It’s also been a bit of a recurring struggle to enjoy the book as fully as I would like to when it’s endured such a revolving door of artists. It was initially announced as a Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel book, which immediately got my attention. He’s my favorite writer and a terrific artist. That lasted three issues. Since then, the title was momentarily conscripted by a crossover event, and we’ve seen artists David Lopez, Terry Dodson, and Barry Kitson come and go. For this issue, we have Clay Mann and Kris Anka sharing art duties. The good news is that some cheesecake tendencies from Terry Dodson aside, all of these artists are pretty interesting. Call me an old cynic, but I just long for the days that a single creative team would steward a run of 100, or 50, or heck, even 24, or 12 issues of an uninterrupted, on time, monthly series.

Travel back to the early 1950s with Dark Horse Archives' third volume of Forbidden Worlds, presented in a prestige hardcover format and gloriously lurid color, complete with all the original ads, editor’s pages, short one-page stories, and, of course, all of the quirky, bizarre, unbelievable (but sometimes true!) publisher’s promises, and every once in a while slightly unintelligible tales found within the pages of issues nine through fourteen of this supernatural comics anthology.  Straight out of 1952 and 1953, these stories of malevolent beings bent on revenge, sinister haunted houses, world-destroying monsters, and unfortunate coincidences are rife with hyperbole, turning the use of elaborate adjectives into a work of art.  During especially over-descriptive scenes, I found myself removing all of the "–ly" adjectives and just reading the normal, much more direct sentence that remained.  While at times comical – who knew you could create so many adjectives to describe evil, or darkness, for that matter – they often bring a highly stylized sense of mood and setting to the stories (letting me know exactly how I should be reacting to the story) and infusing the circumstances foist upon the characters with a certain amount of dread and terror.  If I were to start using half as many adjectives in my everyday life, my day-to-day activities would seem much more exciting, and I guess this speaks to the time in which these comics were being made.      

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