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The Spire is a political thriller set in a fantasy world. The central locale of this world is a city built upward, culminating in a spire. The royalty at the center of this kingdom live high in this spire, and below on the streets thrive the poor, wretched, weary, discriminated against - basically, the non-human fantasy creatures that are unpleasant to look at. If you see an allegory of some kind shaping, you’re probably right, but it’s not at all heavy handed at this point. It exists so we can relate to this world.

This is such an intriguing first issue, and it made me want to proclaim “WTF?” in an awesome, ironic, and literal way.

Answers. This is the issue where secrets begin to be revealed. I’m still not really sure how everything fits together yet, or if it will in an expected way, but there’s no point in talking about the next issue.

I’m a huge fan of the world of Avatar. I loved every moment of The Legend of Korra series and loved Korra as a character. She was complicated in ways cartoons, or characters in general, typically aren’t. Her problems were not simple, many of which were self-created. Her journey was internal first, and external second. I’d take a long breath and tell you why I love Korra so much, but Joaquim Dos Santos does it so eloquently in his introduction. I’ll leave it for him to tell you. This final volume of the series’ art collections from the creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, along with Joaquim Dos Santos, is a beautiful celebration of their creative process and love of the characters they’ve created.

This should almost be called This Damned Band #1.5. I’ll take the rest of this review to explain why.

Good writers take their time. Paul Cornell is easily a good writer. More often great. Issue #1 of This Damned Band was great. It introduced us to the band Motherfather (a joke which I still love) and the outrageously silly band members through a documentary being made about the band while on tour. There was wit and humor and a genuine love for the characters and this world. Cornell and Tony Parker (The artist!) struck a perfect balance between satire and parody while keeping it human. When Satan (probably) shows up on the final page, as a reader I was ready to dive into the second issue. I said of the first issue something to the effect that it was a band attempting to make their Gimme Shelter without realizing they were actually in Spinal Tap. I’ll add to that, they are even a few steps short of Stillwater in Almost Famous.

Matt Kindt. A name every comic book creator, nay, writer should know. Read his work. Study his work. There are some other brilliant writers out there right now, but no one like Matt Kindt. His final issue of Mind MGMT is coming out soon. Get the collections. His Rai from Valiant Comics was just nominated for several Harvey Awards. You don’t just read Mat Kindt’s work, you experience it. The subtle ways in which he alters his style from one book to another shows his work as a superior craftsman. Even if you don’t like comics and just adore strong science fiction, you should know the name of Matt Kindt.

Zodiac Starforce #1 does not begin at the beginning. I was reading and thinking to myself, is this the second series of this title? Nope. But, life-changing stuff has previously gone down for the four heroes of the book. They have a history, and it’s one that seems to be steeped in some pretty real-world stuff. Every time a character says, “That was fun,” it brings a world of tears and remembered consternation for another.

Amie, the hero of Kate Leth and Matt Cummings’ magical girls book, Power Up, has had a couple of days off of work after being attacked by some strange creatures at the pet store she works at, hit by a light from the heavens, and then had her fish turn into a tiny whale that fired a laser beam. But, after watching an exorbitant amount of what appears to be her favorite TV viewing (which involves a funny line of dialogue), she begins to doubt that this strange event occurred, but strongly hoping otherwise.

Brian Buccellato is taking his time. He wants us to know that the end result in Sons of the Devil won’t be as important unless he moves the playing pieces around a little beforehand, naturally. He doesn’t force it; you don’t see his hands manipulating. It may not feel like a lot is happening - there are no big action scenes, no murders, no car chases - but, in the grand scheme of things, chapters like this sometimes turn out to be the most important. This is a character-driven story, and Buccellato is playing the long game right now.

*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.

This is my corner. I refuse to talk about the things everyone else wants to.

It seems like, these days, people only talk about DC Comics when there is a fuss to be made. In this way, the nerd culture has become my grandpa when a glass of milk has been spilled. But, the one thing my grandfather does that the nerd culture has a difficult time doing is giving praise when things are going well.

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