Colin Eldred-Cohen, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor

Colin Eldred-Cohen, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor

Enter the continent of Thedas, a medieval realm where social and political strife run deeper than a mighty tree’s roots.  Humans, elves, dwarves, and a mysterious race called the qunari coexist with a lot of troubled history between them.  Magic is a gateway for demons to enter the living, which means its wielders must be heavily policed.  Above all, there are deadly primal forces underground and in the hidden corners of the land, many of them taking the forms of mighty dragons.  Welcome to the world of BioWare’s dark fantasy hit series, Dragon Age.

We return once again to the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, as the siege of the Calaphrax Cluster, which had been isolated behind a warp storm for ten thousand years, continues.  Baltus and his space marine squad continue to storm the war-torn planet of Exyrion, discovering a hive city underneath the surface that could hold many ancient secrets.  Meanwhile, Interrogator-Chaplain Altheous is on a secret diplomatic mission to a surprisingly inhabited world called Tintaroth for a hidden purpose.  At the same time, Inquisitor Sabbathiel is traversing the cluster to look for proof of treachery and heresy within the ranks of the Dark Angels.  And all the while, the ruthless chaos space marines called the Iron Warriors are mounting an attack to destroy their old enemies once and for all.

Wow - that is a whopper of a second issue!  I was expecting something decent, but I wasn’t prepared for something that good.

Tomas Ramirez has no aspirations or dreams -- he’s perfectly content to chill at his gas station job and talk to random lizards.  But he finds that the latter has become a lot more literal as some of his fellow townspeople are actually shape-shifting reptilian aliens that want to exterminate humanity.  Soon, he finds himself fighting in a secret worldwide war for humanity’s survival with an underground resistance force.  He’s way over his head, so he does the most logical thing -- get high.

Gather round, my pretties!  We have something special for the month of October, a horror anthology from the early days of comic books.  Spooky tales have been handpicked from the tail end of the Golden Age of comics (early to mid 1950s, to be exact) for our reading pleasure.  There are about one hundred and fifty pages in this volume, containing comics that are never more than ten pages.  But now, it’s time to dive into the pages of Haunted Horror to see if the stories crumble like a cheap headstone or endure like a pharaoh's tomb.

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war.  Such are the words printed on nearly every game book in the Warhammer 40,000 (or Warhammer 40k or even just 40k) series.  Created by British company Games Workshop in 1987, this miniatures game set in a dystopian 41st millennium, where humanity must defend itself from alien threats and heresy within, has attracted players from all over and continues to go strong to this day.  The deep, intricate background of the galaxy and its inhabitants, as well as the numerous customizable armies, give everyone something to latch onto.  How does this translate into their first foray into comics?  Well… I find it lacking, to say the least.

Talk about a concept that nobody knew they wanted.  Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 crosses over two cult classics by the legendary John Carpenter, both starring Kurt Russell.  The fact that both main characters are played by the same actor is actually a major plot point.  Let’s see if it holds up under it.

In the annals of comic book history, the '90s are known as either the Iron Age or the Dark Age of Comics.  Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns had just come out, and people were blown away at how comics, once perceived as a kid’s medium, could portray darker subject material.  Thus, comic companies started pushing for more antiheroes, grittier stories, and attempts at realistic topics and issues.  Unfortunately, this was mostly unsuccessful, leading to dramatic bombs in the comic world, all of them trying too hard to be edgy and turning out dull, uninspired stories.  Why do I bring this up?  Because today’s comic seems to be embracing the spirit of that era.

Welcome to the land of Equestria, where hooved animals reign supreme and friendship is an actual power source.  Yes, we’re looking at a My Little Pony comic today, the 7th volume of the Friends Forever series.  Unlike many comics that follow multi-issue stories and a general arc, this series is composed of one-shot stories where two characters that don’t usually share a lot of time together get put into situations where their personalities come together or clash in new and entertaining ways.  Volume 7 takes us through four such stories with a variety of colorful pairings.  Are they golden monuments to the magic of friendship or do they crumble into horse manure?  Let’s take a look and find out.

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