*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.
I remember getting my first Star Wars novel as a gift. It was the third of Michael Stackpole’s X-Wing books, The Krytos Trap. Who it was from is hazy in my memory, since my dad was the middleman in the transaction. I’m sure he told me, but I don’t remember. The Krytos Trap became the first “grown-up” novel I ever read. I was a big reader, but I hadn’t yet made the leap from the Young Adult section. My nights were filled, usually, with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, with Animorphs, along with the various books we were reading for class in third grade, in which I tended to read ahead.
By necessity, Lazarus spends a lot of time talking about family. It’s usually “the Family” or something, or loyalty thereto, whether born of blood ties or social status. What Forever Carlyle endured for her Family in order to become its glorified bodyguard makes it all the more tense to watch her serve. She’s a character who, as an adult, barely seems human, but her story makes it feel like that’s a tragedy, not a creative mistake.
More than anything, I feel like The Witcher is a missed opportunity.
At least in the US, most people likely to pick up this series will be most familiar with The Witcher from the video games from CD Projekt Red; it is that take on the character which the comic uses, though, at least in the first issue, the tie-in is very loose. In that regard, the look of the book fits; Geralt, his Witcher medallion, and his silver sword all look true to the source. Joe Querio’s art, as a whole, works pretty well for the grimness of The Witcher’s setting, a dark, sword-and-sorcery world that owes more to Howard and Moorcock than Tolkien and Gygax.
A little more than a year ago, I reviewed the first book in Moro Rogers’ City in the Desert trilogy and quite enjoyed it. The second book, The Serpent Crown, continues the story of monster hunter Irro and his young partner Hari in their efforts to save Kevala, the eponymous city in the desert, from the peril that befell it in the first book. Things pick up basically immediately where they left off, and so The Serpent Crown isn’t a great jumping-on point for new readers; however, for fans of the first book, it is a worthy continuation of the story and portends an exciting third act.
I like airships. Not, like, semi-plausible, lighter-than-air airships, but airships that just look like they have no business being airborne. The first page of Undertow has one such vessel: a great big, double-hulled craft I would come to learn is called the Deliverer. This was a good second impression, since the first impression – the cover – left me uncertain what to expect and wasn’t stylistically to my liking.
I’ve been reading A Voice in the Dark since the first issue, which was one of those I picked up off the shelves on a whim. I’m a sucker for serial killers, you see, and I quickly came to appreciate that Larime Taylor was not going for a run-of-the-mill crime thriller. His anti-hero killer, Zoey Aarons, is a college freshman. She is of mixed race. She isn’t exceptionally attractive or overtly sexualized, and this comic is very aware of that.
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.
If genial, anti-heroic serial killer Dexter Morgan was a mixed race female college freshman, he’d be something like Zoey Aarons. Indeed, in some ways, A Voice in the Dark is the young adult Dexter, in that it focuses on college-age characters and issues, but as its name implies, it can still get very dark, the sort of dark that makes your skin crawl a little in anticipation.
When I reviewed the first issue of The Answer way back in January, I found it quite entertaining, with adistinct, slightly off-kilter personality that appealed to me and the suggestion that what was to come would be a fun ride. I had every intention of following it, but promptly failed to do so, and so coming to this collection of the Mike Norton and Dennis Hopeless 4-issue miniseries was my chance to remedy that particular oversight. The end product is a good, but not great, little book that ought to entertain while it lasts but not too much longer.
The year is 1951. Television is in its infancy, still competing with radio to bring popular entertainment directly into people's homes. It's not glamorous, it's not high art, it's kids' stuff, and the truth behind the scenes is often far more shocking – and less attractive – than what gets tossed across the airwaves. Enter Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin's Satellite Sam, a period noir of the behind-the-scenes at the eponymous children's space opera.