Phillip Kelly

Phillip Kelly (186)

When I reviewed Spire #6, I was a little lost and realized a short time after it was because I hadn’t read Issue #5 yet . . . it makes a difference. Now that I’m officially all caught up, Issue #6 . . . is awesome.

The final issue of the first arc of Venus should be called “The Things We Can’t Leave Behind,” such as the worst humanity has to offer. We can send ourselves into space, looking for hope, but humanity will never be able to leave behind its worst impulses - greed and ambition at any cost – literally sabotaging ourselves at every step of the way.

From a time when irony was every story device comes EC Archives’ collection of Issues #1-6 of Shock Suspense Stories. As it turns out, it isn’t just a look back at sci-fi, suspense, and horror stories from the '50s, but a doozy of historical proportions. With a foreword from Steven Spielberg, reading from story to story you see before you the moment when comic books became socially conscious. In 1953 before segregation officially ended, the editors of Shock Suspense Stories had the guts to take on social injustice of African Americans citizens (“The Guilty”), hatemongering towards Jewish citizens (“Hate”), and the cowardice of the KKK (“Under Cover”).

The final issue of the first story arc in Mystery Girl, the story of Trine who can solve any mystery just by being in the presence of something or someone, wraps up but doesn’t quite fulfill - but it doesn’t upset either. It, in fact, leaves you with the prospect of more story and perhaps an even bigger story.

There’s a point while cooking stew when all of the ingredients and their flavors coalesce, and it’s brilliant. When stew is slow cooked, and everything becomes tender – even better. You bite down and everything bursts in your mouth. That’s where we are with the newest issue of Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird. We’ve spent time with each of the characters individually - learning about them: who they are, what they mean to each other, and what they want from each other. Now, Caitlin R. Kiernan puts them all in the same room, and the flavors burst. What do the demented siblings want of the resurrected Dancy, how far will Dancy go to keep her love Maisy safe, and where will the verbally gifted bird fit in?

This issue is a good jumping-on point for new readers, as we find ourselves at the beginning of a new tale being woven and the introduction of a new potential antagonist. And, when a new villain is introduced in Harrow County, you want to pay attention, because no one is who they appear to be.

What I was hoping for in issue #1 of Kennel Block Blues, I get in issue #2.

I first came across Roger Langridge’s work with his previous kaBOOM! title, Abigail and the Snowman, a children’s series about a young girl who befriends an invisible, friendly yeti. It was charming, fun, and polite. There is nothing even remotely offensive about Langridge’s work, but, on the other hand, there isn’t a lot for adults to sink their teeth into. It’s more Muppet Babies than Tiny Toons. Charming children’s stories to the end.

I’ve given average reviews to the first two issues of Lone Wolf 2100, and yet I keep coming back. First, I think Eric Heisserer is a great writer. He’s currently the guy helping bring the Valiant universe to the big screen. Second, even though it’s basically name only from the original Lone Wolf and Cub – more in homage as our heroes run from their pursuers - it has a certain charm unto itself that isn’t just growing on me, but becoming more a part of the book.

Somewhere between Joseph Campbell and Lone Wolf and Cub, Ben Haggarty and Adam Broadbank’s inspired world of folklore, fairytales, and myth comes to life with a feverish clarity. Mezolith: Stone Age Dreams and Nightmares is like stepping into a world fueled with significance, the power of stories that have been passed down over the ages brought to life with that almost otherworldly feel of ancient cave paintings.

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