Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

I read somewhere that indie comic books are outpacing superhero comic books. Gideon Falls is one of the reasons why. Jeff Lemire and other writers of his ilk are writing books that tell stories in the comic book format that would be difficult to tell with any superhero at the center… because with superhero stories, you know - in one way or another - the superhero will win. Everything will be set right. Death is never forever. The only thing a reader can hope to happen that may mix things up is that the hero will lose something of personal value along the way. Some writers can tap into this for short runs. I’m not asking for tragedy. I’m asking for uncertainty. On the other hand, heroes may learn something new on their journeys, but how many times can those characters learn the same things… lose the same things over the course of 20, 30, 60 (!) years before readers start looking for fresh alternatives and new visions. The comic book industry is at a tipping point.

The first issue of Something is Killing the Children by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’edera introduced us to a dark and bloody situation as a group of kids were brutally ripped apart by a monster. Because it’s James Tynion IV, it was emotional and provocative, and artist Dell’edera showed these events to us in a viscerally arresting way. The survivor: a gay young man in high school named James. By the end of the issue, James meets a wickedly badass monster hunter named Erica Slaughter.

I’m embarrassed to admit this: While I’ve owned every issue of Mind MGMT, this is the first time I’ve read what is now the third omnibus in the collection. I have no logical or tangible reason as to why I haven’t. The good news is that now my reaction to the third omnibus isn’t me reflecting on something I read three years ago. This is fresh in my mind, still bouncing around up there.

Jeff Lemire is not letting the library of DC superheroes go unused in his Black Hammer / Justice League: Hammer of Justice. More and more characters begin to pop up in the series, and they all have very distinct styles of dealing with the villain who is revealed in this issue.

I keep wondering if I should come back and continue to read and review Sea of Stars, because I can only do so much. After reading every issue, I’m glad that I did.

This may be the last issue of Joe Golem, and it went out on an incredibly high note.

Everything is a fever dream: a psychosomatic journey for all of its character; a mystery that doesn’t show what exactly it is that we should be trying to figure out.

I have waited months for Ether to begin again, and when I saw the name of this story arc - The Disappearance of Violet Bell - I gasped. Not Violet!

The Weatherman is one of those stories you buckle up into and let it take you wherever it wants to go. It is so much fun. Essentially, the terrorist who killed billions of people on planet Earth wiped his memory and became a goofball weatherman, Nathan Bright. Now, Amanda Cross is trying to get his memory back, with a crew of some pretty tough customers, so she can stop another terrorist attack that might wipe out the rest of humanity.

For the moment, this seems to be the end of the main story arc to Black Hammer, Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s love letter to superhero tropes and mythologies. (Although, with Black Hammer / Justice League and another Black Hammer mini-series promised for the end of the year, there will be plenty more to come!) In this love letter, they stripped away the “super” from our heroes, and we watched as some embraced being normal, while in others the trauma of not being who they were meant to be played out.

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