Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

Phillip Kelly, Fanbase Press Contributor

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.

There’s a lot of heart in Ronin Island, and as Kanichi and Hana find their separate paths, the goals shift and change in a way that could very well put them at odds with each other. Hanichi and Hana are the same, but they have been taught that they are different. Both are fierce warriors, having just come of age, but because Hana is from a poor farmer’s family, and Kanichi is from a rich Samurai family, they are different. At least, this is what they’ve been told their entire lives, and as far as we can tell, it’s stuck.

I am in awe of Jeff Lemire. He has managed to take the heart and pulse of two very different comic book worlds and find their mutual centers. Everything is unexpected. I’m looking at characters in ways that I haven’t before, finding new ways to understand them and care about them. It is magical.

In Jason Aaron and Dennis Hallum’s Sea of Stars, gone is the cynicism and coldness of modern-day sci-fi that has ramped up ever since Ridley Scott’s Alien and Blade Runner. Instead, they’ve embraced that gee-whiz, sci-fi pep of the '50s and '60s. This is an adventure split in two.

I always enjoy James Tynion IV’s work on popular series like Detective Comics and his other ventures over at DC, but where he truly excels to me as a writer - where his voice as a creator is amplified - is when he releases one of his horror or sci-fi series at BOOM! Studios. Memetic, Cognetic, and Eugenic took the sort of body horror aspects from David Cronenberg and spun some truly great, socially relevant horror stories. Something Is Killing the Children looks like it’s the next in this sort of socially aware horror series, and he doesn’t wait to get into it.

Christopher Cantwell’s second foray into comic books doesn’t ease you into it; you’re catapulted into its chaos. His previous series which ended last month, She Could Fly, was about one girl’s mental illness and her desperate journey to be free of it. It was amazing, heart wrenching, surreal, absurd, and one of my favorite series of the last two years. Everything ups the ante.

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