Brandon Perdue, Fanbase Press Contributor

Brandon Perdue, Fanbase Press Contributor
Favorite Comic: Top Ten by Alan Moore and Gene Ha
Favorite Tabletop RPG: Fireborn
Favorite Spacegoing Vessel: Constitution-class Refit

If genial, anti-heroic serial killer Dexter Morgan was a mixed race female college freshman, he’d be something like Zoey Aarons.  Indeed, in some ways, A Voice in the Dark is the young adult Dexter, in that it focuses on college-age characters and issues, but as its name implies, it can still get very dark, the sort of dark that makes your skin crawl a little in anticipation.

When I reviewed the first issue of The Answer way back in January, I found it quite entertaining, with adistinct, slightly off-kilter personality that appealed to me and the suggestion that what was to come would be a fun ride.  I had every intention of following it, but promptly failed to do so, and so coming to this collection of the Mike Norton and Dennis Hopeless 4-issue miniseries was my chance to remedy that particular oversight.  The end product is a good, but not great, little book that ought to entertain while it lasts but not too much longer.

The year is 1951.  Television is in its infancy, still competing with radio to bring popular entertainment directly into people's homes.  It's not glamorous, it's not high art, it's kids' stuff, and the truth behind the scenes is often far more shocking – and less attractive – than what gets tossed across the airwaves.  Enter Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin's Satellite Sam, a period noir of the behind-the-scenes at the eponymous children's space opera.

 

Thumbprint 1Thumbprint is an adaptation of Joe Hill's novella of the same name, the story of an Army MP who returns from a troubled tour in Iraq to find that her past won't quite stay buried.  Hill is, of course, best known in comics for Locke & Key, as well as his award-winning novels, but his usual domain of dark fantasy is entirely absent in Thumbprint; this is a gritty thriller without a trace of the fantastic, which isn't to say that it isn't good.

 

Blackburn Burrow 4The final issue of the Blackburn Burrow free miniseries from Amazon Studios and 12-Gauge Comics is as completely readable as the earlier issues in the series, itself an interesting experiment in testing the waters for a potential movie.  With such talent as Ron Marz on writing and Matthew Dow Smith handling art, it comes as little surprise that this comic book translation of a script by J.H. Levy is quite fine as a temporary (and, let's not forget, free) distraction.

 

The Manhattan Projects 10Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitara's The Manhattan Projects – an alternate history tale in which the project that created the atomic bomb was merely a front for far more interesting goings-on – continues to be a madly rewarding ride.  The tenth issue, "Finite Oppenheimers," calls back to the similarly named opening issue of the series as it takes a break from the happenings in the Projects to delve into the consequences of Joseph Oppenheimer's infinite personalities.

 

Myth 1The charming, black-and-white Myth #1 combines fairy tale sensibilities with a protagonist whose worldview is informed by Silver Age comic heroes into a story that’s part fantasy, part superhero, and a charitable effort to boot.  Young Sam lives at an orphanage lorded over by Mrs. Morrison, every horrible headmistress or evil stepmother incarnate, and though Sam become a bit of an escape artist, Mrs. Morrison’s moblike goons bring him back each time he runs away.  That is, until he decides to run toward the forest – you know, the supposedly haunted one – where Morrison is happy to assume he’s met a horrible end.

 

Legend of ZeldaA little more than twenty-five years ago, The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System began one of the most successful video game series of all time.  The game cast players as a young hero named Link, who had to traverse eight hazardous dungeons, solving puzzles and earning new equipment, in order to restore the Triforce of Wisdom and save the titular Princess Zelda.

 

The Answer 1The Answer! is an entertaining, self-aware, little romp through something kind of superheroic, I suppose, in that its title character runs around in a full-body costume and wears a funny mask with an exclamation point on it.  The Answer is efficient and doesn’t mind a body count, though sometimes more pressing matters interrupt his explosive interference in convenience store robberies and send him running off to deal with them.

 

The HighwaysEddie Wallace is the new navigator for the hauler Carol Ann, which isn’t the prettiest ship, but she gets the job done. Navigation within the solar system, of course, mainly involves plotting trajectories that allow a ship to coast for weeks or months while the crew sleeps through it in stasis – there’s no faster-than-light travel here. Eddie’s never done any of this before – except in sims – and he is, at best, kind of clueless about the life he’s entering, crammed into a small ship with two other people for a long period of time. The better to explain every little thing to him, I suppose. This is John Byrne’s new series, The High Ways, a sci-fi adventure in the 21st century.

SPOILERS BELOW

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